CHICAGO (AP) -- Violent crime in Chicago continues unabated this year, with the latest unofficial statistics showing that there were 316 more shootings in the city through August.
Through the end of September, there were 392 murders, 50 more than the same time last year.
Deputy Superintendent of Patrol Beatrice Cuello attributed the increased violence to street gang activity. She noted the arrests of high-ranking gang members has left a vacuum in which young gang members try to fill.
Crime had dropped consistently since about 2003, with murders dipping below 500 in 2004, the lowest since the 1960s. As recently as seven years ago, the murder tally was closer to 700.
David Olson of the Criminal Justice Department at Loyola University said there are likely several causes for the increase, including changes in police staffing and changes in the drug markets that drive shootings.