Police: Murders down 20 percent from last year

Homicide Watch Chicago Editor

Chicago saw nine fewer murders in November 2013 than in November 2012 and maintained a 20 percent decrease in total murders from last year, Chicago Police said.

Thirty people were killed in November 2013, compared with 39 last year and 37 in 2011, Chicago Police spokesman Adam Collins said. Chicago continues to be on pace to have the fewest murders since 1965, police said.

The last murder of the month happened at 12:37 p.m. Saturday, when Gentiles Williamson, 27, was shot near his home in the 3100 block of West Arthington Street.

Williamson was one of 380 people murdered in Chicago this year, authorities said. Last year, 474 people were murdered in the first 11 months of the year, while 2011 had 398 murders during the same time period.

“Chicago Police continue to implement a comprehensive strategy, saturating high-crime areas with additional officers, using intelligence to prevent retaliatory gang shootings, moving officers from administrative positions back to the streets, and partnering with the community,” Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said in a statement.

The decrease in shootings coincides with a decrease in the number of people who were shot. Chicago Police recorded 112 people were shot in November 2013 compared with 182 last year and 127 in November 2011, Collins said.

Overall, 1,712 people have been shot in Chicago this year, Collins said. That is a 25 percent decrease from November 2012 and a 17 percent decrease through November 2011.

“While this year there has been less crime and fewer murders in Chicago than there have been in decades, there’s far more work to be done and no one will rest until we reach the ultimate goal of zero crime,” McCarthy said.

To meet federal and state guidelines, Chicago Police recently reviewed every murder from 2012 and 2013. Under those guidelines, a murder should be classified in the year the person was injured, and not in the year the person died. Seven people who died in 2012 from previous injuries and four people who died in 2013 were properly attributed to the year of the incident to meet the guidelines.

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