With 74 people killed in July alone, Chicago has reached more than 400 homicides for the year so far, a number that keeps the city on track to outpace 2016, one of the bloodiest years recorded in decades.
According to Chicago police, there have been 402 murders in the city so far this year, though the department’s statistics don’t include killings on area expressways, police-involved shootings, self-defense killings or death investigations.
Last month saw 74 murders, 321 shootings and 410 shooting victims, police announced Tuesday.
More than 25 shootings have been reported on Chicago expressways so far this year, according to Illinois State Police, with at least six people wounded on expressways in July alone.
Despite the high number of fatalities, police said the number of shootings in the city has dropped by 13 percent compared to this time last year.
“The lethality of the shootings, we can’t really control that,” Johnson told NBC 5 as the numbers were released.
Fueling the latest burst of shootings was a violent weekend that saw four people killed and nearly three dozen others, including a 4-year-old boy, injured.
The month also recorded one of the city’s most violent Fourth of July holidays, with more than 100 people shot over the four-day weekend. That’s compared to 66 people shot over the holiday in 2016, though that year the weekend was only three days long.
Chicago police reported last month that they have removed more than 5,000 guns this year off Chicago streets. The department has also rolled out several initiatives this year, including a high-tech ballistics van that was sent as part of the partnership with the ATF. That same partnership also sent 20 permanent ATF agents to the city, along with federal prosecutors, with the purpose of “prioritizing prosecutions to reduce gun violence, and working with our law enforcement partners to stop the lawlessness.”
“One of the things that I think people miss about this whole violence reduction is the fact that CPD – we’ve recovered over 5,000 guns this year, we’re up 30 percent in overall gun arrests – but the communities being affected, I don’t think they recognize the power that they have in the communities, their voices, to reduce this gun violence,” Johnson said.
He added that he knows trust has noticeably divided communities and police in the city.
“The trust issue was a factor for so long but we’re regaining that trust now,” he said. “When the communities finally say enough is enough then we’ll see this reduction go down.”
Last year, the month of August became the deadliest month in two decades with 90 murders in 31 days. By the end of the month, the city had recorded just over 470 homicides for the year.
Published at 7:52 AM CDT on Aug 1, 2017 | Updated at 1:07 PM CDT on Aug 1, 2017