CHICAGO
12/02/2013 12:13 pm ET

Chicago 2013 Homicide Rate Is Down 20 Percent From Last Year Through November: Police

Chicago police say the homicide rate so far in 2013 is down 20 percent from last year when the city logged more than 500 homicides.

In a sit-down with NBC Chicago, McCarthy said November was one of the best months of the year with regard to lower homicide totals; this past month tallied 30 homicides compared to 39 last year and 37 in 2011.

According to RedEye's homicide tracker, Chicago has seen 395 homicides so far this year, 325 of them due to gunshots.

According to the Sun-Times, 474 people were murdered from between January 2012 and November 2012, while 2011 had 398 murders during the same time period.

The city's top cop, Supt. Garry McCarthy, says 2013 stands out as a mark of progress in fighting violent crime with the city logging fewer murders this year than any year since 1965.

“While this year there has been less crime and fewer murders in Chicago than there have been in decades, there’s far more work to be done and no one will rest until we reach the ultimate goal of zero crime,” McCarthy said according to Progress Illinois.

Amid reports of the promising figures, three people were killed and at least 20 were injured over the Thanksgiving weekend, DNAinfo Chicago reports.

Maria Gonzalez, a 39-year-old Jefferson Park woman, died after a man pacing outside her home slit her throat Thanksgiving morning, neighbors tell DNAinfo. On Saturday, 27-year-old Gentiles Williamson was fatally shot; DNAinfo reports the East Garfield Park man was set to start his new job as a pharmacist. On Sunday, Sherod Nesbitt, 24, was fatally shot in Roseland.

McCarthy told NBC progress in bringing the city's homicide rate to zero correlates with bringing down the number of shootings, which account for the majority of homicides citywide each year.

"You prevent shootings, you lower the murder rate. It's that simple," McCarthy said. "In a city where 87 percent of our murders are by gunshot, if we continue to keep reducing the gunshots, the murder rate will come down."

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