The Chicago Tribune's crime team follows up on gunshot victims across the city. The figures show the number of victims, not the number of shootings. Data on homicides may be obtained here. This page will be updated on a weekly basis.
Crime in Chicago has become more violent as gun violence has increased. In 2016, there were 2,542 people shot, an average of 13 per day. Of those shot, 456 died, an average of two people per day. The majority of these shootings occurred in only 10 police districts on the South and West Sides of the city.
These numbers are likely to increase since last year's statistics were collected before Chicago's murder rate reached its current level. There have been more than 500 murders so far this year, which is already more than there were all of last year.
Gun violence is often related to gang activity so it can be difficult to determine who was responsible for a shooting without further information. One thing that can help identify a motive for a shooting is if there had been previous arguments or conflicts between families of victims. This could mean that one person was just trying to defend themselves against another person who was trying to start something with them first.
In addition to homicide, people also die from being hit by guns. In 2017, there were more than 100 people killed by firearms in Illinois.
On Friday, Chicago police also announced the final crime statistics for 2020, which revealed that shootings and homicides increased by more than 50% in 2020. In 2020, there were 769 murders, a significant increase from the 495 murders recorded in 2019. The number of shooting victims increased from 2,598 in 2019 to 4,033 in 2020. There have been over 700 murders so far this year.
Murders are up across the country. According to the Washington Post, killings rose in nearly 70% of the cities it tracked last year.
There are several factors that may be leading to an increase in violence. The Post reports that many large cities saw an increase in gun sales following the election of Donald Trump. Some citizens no longer feel safe with the president in office and are buying guns as a precaution.
There has also been an increase in the number of people committing crimes with guns. The Post notes that more Americans are carrying guns in public spaces which creates more opportunities for accidents or acts of violence. Finally, researchers believe that the use of cannabis may be contributing to increases in violence by making some individuals more susceptible to committing acts of violence.
To learn more about cannabis and violence, check out our article on the topic.
Two of them were killed. It also excludes ten people who accidentally shot themselves, one fatally, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. According to the Chicago Police Department, there were 762 murders, 3,550 gunshot incidents, and 4,331 shooting victims in the city last year. According to the agency, 2016 saw a "unacceptably high increase in violence."
Of the 10 people who died as a result of being accidentally shot, eight were children under 18 years old. Three of those children were under five years old. One person was over 45 years old. Another three people died after being hit by bullets but not injured seriously enough to require medical attention. Of these three people, two were women age 46 and 50 and another was a man age 21.
The number of people who were killed in shootings is higher because not all homicides lead to a death sentence. A murder conviction requires proof that the defendant intended to kill or do great bodily harm to another human being. A guilty verdict can be reached without finding that the defendant actually intended to kill someone, so long as it is proven that he or she intended to do serious bodily harm or knew that his or her acts would likely cause death or great bodily harm.
In addition to the people who were killed by other people, several others died while trying to protect others from gun violence.
While Chicago homicides plummeted by half between July and August, violent crime looked to be on the increase again in September. In 35 shootings over the weekend, 53 individuals were shot, 10 of them fatally, according to Police Superintendent David Brown on Monday. Similar figures were reported over the Labor Day weekend. That's a lot of people hurt in a lot of incidents that have nothing to do with criminal activity.
The number of murders this year is already more than in all of 2015. There have been 95 murders so far in 2016, compared to 99 at this point last year.
There are several factors behind the increase this year. The city has seen its monthly average of gun arrests drop for three months in a row, which suggests that fewer guns are being removed from the community and less violence is happening because of it. The number of people arrested for drug offenses has also dropped off since June, when police made more than 100 such arrests a day; that number has stayed below 100 per day since then.
The decrease in gun arrests comes as police have said they're focusing their efforts on high-level offenders. This year, four out of five people killed had a previous arrest record, suggesting that police are taking a broader view of who they're arresting. However, the number of people being held on weapons charges has increased since June, when officers started releasing some suspects due to lack of evidence.
The city's total crime rate, particularly violent crime, is greater than the national average. Despite the fact that the nation's crime rates stayed at historic lows in 2016, Chicago was responsible for roughly half of the rise in killings in 2016. The causes for the higher rates in Chicago are unknown. Possible factors include more police officers working in dangerous neighborhoods, a change in the way crimes are classified, and/or increased violence associated with drug trafficking and gang activity.
Crime has become such a serious problem in Chicago that there are active campaigns to reduce it. Chicago has one of the largest police forces in the country, but they often have trouble keeping up with the many crimes committed each year. The mayor has said he wants to cut the force by thousands of officers over the next few years and replace them with civilians hired through private security companies. This would help prevent more crimes from being committed since there would be more officers on the streets.
There are also efforts being made to reduce gun violence. A ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines passed in 1994 was recently renewed for ten years. Another law went into effect this year that requires gun owners to store their firearms safely and responsibly or risk having their guns taken away. Finally, there is an effort under way to rehabilitate young people who have been arrested for crimes they did not commit. If they are found not guilty by reason of insanity, they will be sent to hospitals where they will receive treatment.