CHICAGO (SUN TIMES MEDIA WIRE) - August 2016 saw the most homicides in a single month in Chicago in 20 years, according to newly released statistics from the Chicago Police Department.
The city saw 90 homicide victims last month compared with 54 killed in the city during the same period in 2015, city records show.
Last month saw a total of 384 shooting incidents and 472 shooting victims last month, police said. There were 217 people wounded in nonfatal shootings in August 2015.
The 90 people killed in August 2016 is the highest number of homicides in a single month in Chicago since August 1996, according to police records.
Through Aug. 31, Chicago had recorded 467 homicides, according to police records, putting the city on pace to surpass 700 by year’s end. Through the same period last year, there were 311 homicides in Chicago.
Chicago has not seen more than 600 homicides in a year since 2003 and not more than 700 homicides since 1998, records show.
Police said murder arrests have increased by 18 percent and gun arrests have increased by 5 percent compared to August 2015.
More than 200 people, mostly documented gang members, were arrested last month in enforcement missions targeting individuals “who contribute to the cycle of violence in some neighborhoods,” according to police.
“The historical cycle of violence we have seen in some communities must come to an end,” Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said in a statement. “Repeat gun offenders who drive the violence on our streets should not be there in the first place and it is time to changes the laws to ensure these violent offenders are held accountable for their crimes.”
Last weekend, 11 people were killed and 56 were wounded in shootings across the city.
Among the killed was Nykea Aldridge, cousin of Bulls star and area native Dwyane Wade.
Aldridge was shot in the head as she pushed one of her four children in a stroller in the 6300 block of South Calumet in the Parkway Gardens neighborhood, a particularly violent area colloquially known as “O Block.” Two men were charged in her death.