Chicago Police: October murders, shootings both down from last year

(BBC World Service/Flickr)

For the eighth-straight month this year, Chicago saw a reduction in gun violence in October, the police department announced Wednesday.

There were 228 shooting incidents last month, compared to 353 shootings in the October 2016, according to Chicago Police statistics. That’s a decline of 34 percent.

The city has seen 2,445 shootings in total so far in 2017, down from 3,000 through the same date last year, according to police.

Eighteen of 22 police districts have seen reductions in shootings compared to last year, and seven have seen reductions compared to 2015, police said.

“The reductions in gun violence we have seen for the last eight months is a testament to the hard work of our officers as well as the investments we’ve made in intelligence-led pricing, better training, and more robust community engagement,” Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said in an emailed statement.

“Across the city, from the south side to the north side, we have seen less shootings than 2016, and in some communities, even less than 2015.  This is certainly not victory, but it is significant progress in the right direction,” Johnson said.

In October 2017, there were 53 murders, compared to 80 in the same month last year, a decline of more than 30 percent, according to the department.

All but three of the October homicides were shootings, according to records kept by the Chicago Sun-Times. Two were assaults and one involved a motor vehicle crash.

In total, the city has seen 580 homicides so far in 2017, including shootings, assaults and other types of incidents, according to Sun-Times records. Through the same date last year, the city had recorded 644 homicides.

Last year was one of the bloodiest in Chicago in two decades, with more than 4,300 shooting victims and nearly 800 homicides.