2016 saw 762 murders in Chicago, and seven months into 2017, and the city appears like it may surpass that deadly number this year.
In addition to the number of homicides, the ratio of people being shot and those dying from their wounds is getting worse.
The Chicago Tribune reports:
An analysis of Tribune data shows the percentage of fatal shootings is running about 1.3 percent higher than last year. The percentage had been declining in recent years but started to rise last year.
In 2013, about 15.5 percent of those shot in Chicago died. That percentage dropped to around 14 percent the next two years, but rose in 2016 to 15.2 percent, according to Tribune data. So far this year, 16.5 percent of the 2,150 people shot have died.
Combined with other cases, such as strangulations and stabbings, the number of homicides reached 400 on Thursday, two days earlier than last year.
Before 2016, there hadn’t been more than 700 homicides city homicides in single year for two decades, yet Chicago is on pace to top that number for the second consecutive year.
Violent crime is not universal throughout the city. Gang violence, a major contributor to the homicide rate, is concentrated on the West and South sides of the city.
The Chicago Tribune cites experts who blame the increased homicide rate on the “opioid epidemic that could be intensifying disputes among heroin dealers” and “the proliferation of guns in the city.”
The Chicago Tribune continues:
Chicago had 50 more homicides than New York and Los Angeles combined through mid-June, even though it is far less populous than both.
Earlier this year, Chicago police highlighted the link between drugs and violence earlier this year with maps displaying how the locations of shootings and drug overdoses overlapped.
The maps showed a high concentration of shootings and overdoses happening on the West Side near the Eisenhower Expressway, dubbed the “Heroin Highway” because of the easy access it provides for drug-buying suburbanites.
In spite of Chicago’s harsh gun bans, homicide rates continue to increase.