Chicago Off to Deadliest Start of This Century 95 homicides reported, up from 48 this time last year By Arden Dier, Newser Staff Posted Mar 1, 2016 7:34 AM CST 82 comments Comments Crime scene tape surrounds a home on Feb. 7, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) (Newser) – After Chicago suffered its deadliest January in at least 16 years, two deaths in separate shootings over the weekend brought this year's homicide total to 95, giving the city its deadliest start to a year in almost two decades. The same number of homicides was recorded in January and February of 1999; the most recent higher tally came in 1997, when the city saw 101 homicides in the first two months of the year, reports the Chicago Tribune. There were just 48 homicides reported at this time last year, per WLS. This year's violent deaths—including two alleged robbers killed by a shop owner—number 102, up from 52 at this time in 2015. Police blame gang violence.