The ongoing mayhem in the mean streets of Chicago may be on the way to a record year in 2017.
With the victim toll mounting thanks to gang violence and general thuggish scumbaggery, the Windy City has just had its 400th murder of the year and there are still five months to go. The majority of the dead are gunshot victims as turf battles and tempers among street gangs continue to escalate, especially during the hot summer months.
One of the most secure jobs in Chicago these days is with the coroner’s office and there is no reason to believe that is going change at any time in the near future.
At the rate that the bodies have been piling up, it will end up with 700 by year’s end IF the carnage stays at its current level and doesn’t take a turn for the worst. The city has more gunshot dead than either New York or Los Angeles, both of which are bigger.
The Chicago Tribune is reporting “More people dying from gunshot wounds as Chicago marks 400 homicides”:
Four years ago, Chicago didn’t record 400 homicides until just before Thanksgiving Day. The city has already passed that mark this year.
Chicago is on pace to have a deadlier year than 2016, when gun violence reached levels not seen in 20 years, according to data kept by the Tribune. While fewer people have been shot this year, more of them are dying from their wounds.
An analysis of Tribune data shows the percentage of fatal shootings is running about 1.3 percent higher than last year. The percentage had been declining in recent years but started to rise last year.
In 2013, about 15.5 percent of those shot in Chicago died. That percentage dropped to around 14 percent the next two years, but rose in 2016 to 15.2 percent, according to Tribune data. So far this year, 16.5 percent of the 2,150 people shot have died.
With half the summer to go, Chicago is on course to top 700 homicides for a second consecutive year, a mark that had otherwise not been reached in two decades.
It’s not clear what might be driving the increase in homicides, which are often linked to gang conflicts and are concentrated on the West and South sides.
Experts have cited everything from the proliferation of guns in the city to the opioid epidemic that could be intensifying disputes among heroin dealers.
And tensions may get even higher soon as the financially troubled city is set to implement a soda tax next week adding one more stress factor into the mix as the lid on the pressure cooker inches closer to blowing.