Last month was the deadliest in Chicago over the last twenty years. In August, police clocked 384 shootings, 90 murders, 384 shootings, and 472 total shooting victims. The Windy City’s police force have recorded thus far in 2015 at least 468 murders and 2,848 shooting victims. On average, this means there were about 12 shooting victims every day and 59 murders every month.
This year is on track to become Chicago’s worst for overall murder count since 2008. In that year, 513 murders were counted. Back in 1992, which was Chicago’s peak for murders, the figure reached 940. The last time the number topped 600 was in 2003. 
In Chicago, the murder rate has jumped by 49 percent when compared to 2015. Shooting incidents have increased by 48 percent. Police are blaming various criminal gangs, many of whom have extensive criminal records and who use firearms illegally. According to a University of Chicago study, almost 40 percent of homicide suspects arrested in 2015 had prior arrests for gun crimes.
Among the victims who were culled by the violence was a seven-year-old child who was wounded in an arm. More noted was Nykea Aldridge, a cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wayne. The 32-year-old mother was struck by bullets fired by assailants who had intended to kill someone else. At the time, Aldridge was pushing her newborn child in a stroller while walking home from a school where she had enrolled another child for studies.
Last month, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said 1,400 gang-affiliated people are responsible for 85 percent of the Windy City's gun violence. "The historical cycle of violence we have seen in some communities must come to an end," said Johnson. "Repeat gun offenders who drive the violence on our streets should not be there in the first place and it is time to change the laws to ensure these violent offenders are held accountable for their crimes."
While violence has fallen disproportionately on certain communities in the city, six police districts are flat or down in murders in 2016. However, five districts on the south and west sides of Chicago account for the majority of the uptick in crime, say police. 
This year, approximately 27 children under the age of 13 have been shot in Chicago. This week, hundreds of mourners turned out to honor Elijah Sims: a teen boy who was shot and killed just before his 17th birthday. 
The announcement came just after President Barack Obama announced the commutation of the sentences of over 100 federal convicts, some of whom committed gun-related offenses. Saying that he believes in "second chances," Obama has commuted the sentences of more criminals than six of his predecessors combined.
Murder rates in Chicago according to race/ethnicity.



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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