61 Shot, 12 Dead As Bloodiest Christmas In Years Rocks Chicago
The colder weather in the Midwest was supposed to bring with it a reprieve for the police and residents of Chicago from the historic levels of violence that have devastated that city this year. Unfortunately, while the colder weather came the violence never subsided.
According to the Chicago Tribune, 61 people were shot over the long Christmas weekend and as many as 12 of those people have since died from their wounds, a level of holiday violence not seen in Chicago for years. Meanwhile, per the Chicago Police Department, as much as 90% of those wounded over the weekend “had gang affiliations, criminal histories and were pre-identified by the department’s strategic subject algorithm as being a potential suspect or victim of gun violence.”
The city has seen eight multiple-victim shootings, including two double homicides. One was an attack in the East Chatham neighborhood that left two dead and five others wounded, and an attack in the Austin neighborhood left two dead.
Much of the violence happened in areas “with historical gang conflicts on the south and west side of Chicago,” said Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for the Chicago Police Department. He also referenced the department’s “strategic subject list,” which is generated daily from a computerized algorithm and assigns a score from 1 to 500 based on such factors as a person’s arrests and the activities of his associates. Those people with a score in the upper 200s or higher are considered in danger of being shot or of shooting someone else.
“Ninety percent of those fatally wounded had gang affiliations, criminal histories and were pre-identified by the department’s strategic subject algorithm as being a potential suspect or victim of gun violence,” Guglielmi said Monday.
While one might expect violence to subside as people gather with family to celebrate Christmas, per data from HeyJackAss!, the number of fatal shootings actually surged on Christmas day.
Meanwhile, the annual total of murders in Chicago for 2016 is creeping ever closer to the 800 mark.
While shooting totals were supposed to decline in the colder fall and winter months, as depicted in the chart below, 2016 did not follow the same trends as 2014 and 2015. Unlike previous years, the number of shootings recorded in October/November of 2016 remained elevated at around the 400 level which matches the rate of shootings recorded during the summer months.
Finally, the estimate for 800 murders in 2016, which now looks all but inevitable, will be the highest level recorded in over two decades.
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