CHICAGO – Homicides are now outpacing last year in Chicago after the city experienced its deadliest day so far this year, according to data kept by the Chicago Tribune.
Seven people were shot to death on Wednesday, five of them killed over two hours, including a pregnant woman on the South Side. That’s the most homicides since Christmas Day last year, when eight people were killed in the city.
Homicides had been lagging behind last year, which had been the deadliest in two decades. But by Wednesday evening, the city had recorded its 99th homicide two days earlier than it did last year, according to Tribune data.
Like last year, the Harrison police district on the West Side has seen the most homicides: 16 this year compared with 12 this time last year.
The Austin district, also on the West Side, is close behind with 11 homicides. Last year, it wasn’t even among the top five at this time, Tribune data show.
While homicides had been down most of this year, the number of people who were shot has been higher almost from the beginning. As of Wednesday evening, at least 495 people had been shot in Chicago, nearly 60 more than this time last year.
Statistics from the Chicago Police Department are lower because they do not include shootings on city expressways, police-involved shootings and incidents that police consider noncriminal, such as justified shootings.
But even the department’s numbers show this year is starting off as violently as last year. The department reported 379 shooting incidents this year, compared with 365 this time last year. It counted 91 homicides as of Wednesday, compared with 93 the year before.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly talked about the violence in Chicago, offering at one point to “send in the Feds,” though he was not clear about what he meant. As recently as last week, he said Chicago was “worse than almost any of the places in the Middle East.”
Among those killed in Chicago Wednesday was a pregnant woman in her 20s and 20-year-old man was in the driver’s seat of a parked car with a wound to his neck. Both were taken to a hospital and pronounced dead, police said.
At 8:50 p.m., a 24-year-old man was killed in the Brainerd neighborhood. He was on the sidewalk when someone in a dark-colored sedan opened fire and hit him in the head.
About 8:35 p.m., a 31-year-old man was shot in the head and back in the West Pullman neighborhood, police said. The man was pronounced dead on the scene.
About 7 p.m., a 45-year-old man was fatally shot in the Altgeld Gardens neighborhood, police said. The man was shot in the head and pronounced dead on the scene, police said.
The night before, Michael J. Lawrence-Harrington, 27, was shot to death in the 800 block of East 132nd Street, authorities said.
Shortly before 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, a relative found Jose Correa, 60, unresponsive on the floor of a garage in Little Village, police said. He had been shot in the back, neck and mouth, and was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Around 12:50 a.m., a 55-year-old man was killed during an altercation with another person in the Bronzeville neighborhood, police said.
Willie Shaw was in the 4500 block of South Cottage Grove Avenue when another person pulled out a gun and shot him, according to police.