Society

Chicago Has Rare Week Without Gunshot Deaths

| by Alex Scarr

For the first time in more than four years, the city of Chicago went seven straight days without a fatal shooting. The city had 43 nonfatal shootings in the same period.

The city reached the milestone on the morning of March 5. But later that day, authorities were investigating a possible homicide. A body was found March 4 with multiple gunshot wounds and reported the next day.

The body of Antoine D. Watkins was found in a lot on March 4, but appeared to have been there for some time. A police source said they were unsure when the shooting happened. Watkins was last seen Feb. 3 and had been reported missing Feb. 8. His body was found in an empty lot not far from where he lived.

Before that, the last report of a fatal shooting in Chicago had been on the morning Feb. 26, according to WGN. James Morris was shot multiple times while he was sitting in the driver’s seat of a parked minivan. The shots reportedly came from another car. Police believe the attack was gang-related.

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As of March 5, 550 people had been shot in Chicago with 104 reported homicides, outpacing the number of shooting victims by the same date in 2016. In the same period a year earlier, 525 people had been shot and 109 were reported homicides, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Although there were no homicides reported for those seven days, more than 43 people were gunshot victims. More than 800 homicides occurred in Chicago in 2016, the most in two decades, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

There has been a shooting every day in Chicago for more than two years. The last reported day without a shooting was Feb. 28, 2015.

Between the evening of March 5 and the morning March of 6, 11 people were shot around Chicago.

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The week without a reported homicide slows the rapid pace of gun-related killings in 2017. Feb. 28 was the city's deadliest day so far, when seven people were killed and another six were wounded. On both Feb. 5 and Jan. 21, 25 people were shot in similar outbursts, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Since Jan. 1, 92 people have been shot to death in the city, and almost 400 have been wounded in shootings. Four people have been stabbed to death since the beginning of 2017.

Sources: Chicago Tribune (2), Chicago Sun-Times (2), WGN / Photo credit: WFLD

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