Chicago is on track to buck a nearly decade-long trend of hitting 100 homicides in the first four months of the year.
It may be cold comfort for the families of Chicago's more than 90 homicide victims of 2013 so far, but falling short of the perennial benchmark is a small victory for in Chicago Police. The department has been working to stem killings on the street after a dramatically violent year in 2012.
According to a RedEye analysis of police data, the city has reached 100 homicides in April every year since 2005; the one exception was 2012, when the city hit that mark in March.
At the outset of April, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy touted police initiatives that have helped reduce the number of homicides thus far, an encouraging contrast to the year before. According to RedEye, homicides are down 41 percent year-to-date compared to last year and 7 percent compared to 2011.
Two men died earlier this week, both in West Pullman and both — though in separate incidents — crashed their cars after being shot while driving.
Injuries from gun violence — far and away the leading cause of homicides in the city — continue to grow, with five already wounded in overnight violence as of Saturday, the Sun-Times reports. A 15-year-old was among the injured, which Chicago Magazine recently examining why the city's murder victims are getting younger and younger.
As part of its new Homicide Watch Chicago, the Sun-Times maps out the location of each of 2013's homicides so far: