August Was Chicago's Deadliest Month in 20 Years

And it's not clear why
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 1, 2016 3:58 PM CDT
Chicago Homicides Are at a 20-Year High
In this Aug. 7, 2016, photo, Chicago police investigate a scene in Chicago where gunfire at a birthday party left a man dead and a woman injured. The city's police department said Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, Chicago recorded 90 homicides in August, its highest monthly death toll in two decades.    (Ashlee Rezin)

Chicago recorded its deadliest month in two decades in August, part of a sharp rise in gun violence in the nation's third-largest city this year, the AP reports. Chicago police said Thursday that 90 people were killed last month, a 66% increase over August 2015. There were 472 shooting victims—an average of more than 15 people per day. The 90 homicides was the most the city has seen in any month since August 1996, when there also were 90 people killed, according to police data. Among the victims this year have been innocent bystanders, including a father paying bills at his kitchen table and the cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade, who was shot last month while pushing her baby in a stroller near a school.

There were more than 449 homicides in the city between the start of the year and the end of August, a roughly 50% increase over the same period last year, police said. That's also more than 80% higher than at the same point in 2014, when the city ended the year with just over 400 homicides—the least in a half-century. Much of the increase in Chicago homicides is related to more shootings, which have been climbing since 2013 but have spiked to more than 2,312 so far this year. That's about 48% more than in the same time frame last year, and easily surpasses the total recorded in all of 2014, when there were 2,084. There isn't a clear cause. (Read more Chicago stories.)

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