Chicago sees violent week as police release new crime stats - Fox 2 News Headlines

Chicago sees violent week as police release new crime stats

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

The first four months of 2014 were marked with fewer shooting incidents and victims, but saw two more murders compared to the same period in 2013, according to police.

One person was killed and at least 10 others, including a 14-year-old boy, were wounded in separate shootings since Wednesday afternoon.

A man was found shot dead early Thursday in the South Side Chatham neighborhood.

Police responding to a call of shots fired at 2:05 a.m. near East 81st Street and South Cottage Grove Avenue found the man on the sidewalk with a gunshot wound to his head, police said.

The man, in his 20s, was dead at the scene, police said.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed the death but could not provide any more information pending notification of the man’s family early Thursday.

The most recent non-fatal shooting left two men wounded Wednesday night in the Buena Park neighborhood on the North Side.

The two men, 23 and 42, were standing on a sidewalk in the 800 block of West Cuyler Avenue about 9:45 p.m. when they started fighting with two other males, police said. One of those males pulled out a handgun and fired shots, striking the two men, police said.

The 23-year-old was shot in his right thigh and left calf, while the 42-year-old was shot in the right arm, police said. Both were listed in “stable” condition at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.

Less than 45 minutes earlier, four men who had been walking in the 7200 block of South Phillips Avenue were shot, according to police.

Two men, ages 22 and 27, were shot in the upper right leg and left thigh, respectively, and taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in “stable” condition.

A 31-year-old man wounded in the shooting was taken to Jackson Park Hospital and Medical Center with a gunshot wound to his left calf, and a 21-year-old man shot in the arm was taken to South Shore Hospital. Those men were “stable” as well, police said.

A pair of drive-by shootings left four others hurt on the South and West sides within minutes of each other Wednesday afternoon.

A 30-year-old man was walking in the 6900 block of South Laflin Street at 3:10 p.m. when a vehicle pulled up and someone inside fired two shots, hitting the man once in his left hip, police said. He was taken to Saint Bernard Hospital and Health Care Center in good condition.

Less than five minutes earlier, two teenage boys--ages 14 and 17--and a 25-year-old man were standing on a sidewalk in the 2800 block of West Flournoy Street when a dark-colored sedan pulled up and someone inside fired shots at the group, police said.

The 14-year-old was shot in his left knee and the 17-year-old was hit in his left leg. It wasn’t immediately clear where on his body the 25-year-old was shot, police said. All were listed in good condition at Mount Sinai Hospital.

No one is in custody for any of the shootings.

Ironically, the violent day comes as the city released new crime stats for the month of April, touting the success they have been having to keep the violence down.

Tuesday, The Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy released new numbers for the first four months of 2014 and compared them to the first four months of 2013 and 2012. He said shootings are down from 2013 and 2012. He says he feels the department is making progress. 

From January through the end of April, there were 453 shootings, 12 fewer than the same period in 2013, Chicago Police spokesman Adam Collins said in a statement Thursday.

The gap in comparison to 2012 is significantly larger, with 200 fewer shootings this year, Collins said.

Also, there have been 565 shooting victims so far this year, four fewer people than were shot in the first four months of 2013, Collins said, and 210 fewer for that period in 2012.

But there were 95 murders logged in the first four months of 2014, two more than 2013, Collins said. This year’s total is 59 fewer than the first four months of 2012, which saw 154 murders, Collins said.

This year, police have recorded the second-lowest number of murders over the first four months of the year since 1959, behind only 2013, Collins said.

Crime incidents overall were down 20 percent compared to last year, Collins said.

However, McCarthy says there is more work to be done and he is concerned about the summer. CPD plans to put more officers on the streets in high crime areas. Those officers will use new tools to proactively intervene in relationships with community leaders.

McCarthy said keeping illegal guns off the streets is an uphill battle. In the first four months of the year alone, police have confiscated more than 1,900 illegal guns. On average, that is about 480 illegal guns a month. 

Some aldermen are calling on the city council to hold hearings on the issue to discuss the way the city is crunching the numbers. They say the public deserves to have confidence in the numbers and they they should be consistent every time they use comparisons.

McCarthy says there is a national standard for how those numbers are crunched.

"We look at historical perspective to see where we are and compared this year to last year. There is a method of doing this and I'm sorry, It's not up to me," he told FOX 32's Anita Padilla.

FOX 32's Anita Padilla contributed to this story.

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