BY MICHAEL LANSU AND KALEY FOWLER
Homicide Watch Chicago
Chicago Police reported a 7 percent decrease in murders compared to the first nine months of last year — and 25 percent decrease from 2012.
Forty-one September killings raised the 2014 murder total to 298, down from the 320 through September 2013 and 400 through September 2012, police said.
The Cook County medical examiner’s office has ruled at least 326 Chicago deaths in 2014 a homicide — including 12 people killed by police.
Chicago Police, which counts murders different by following national guidelines, have ruled some of those homicides as involuntary manslaughter, justified self-defense or accidents.
While murders continue to decline by both measures, the number of shootings and people shot rose from last year’s record low, said police spokesman Martin Maloney, who noted 2014 “has seen the second fewest shootings on record.”
Police reported 1,552 shootings and 1,927 shooting victims through the first nine months of the year, which is 78 more shootings and 114 more gunshot victims than during the same period last year.
In September, police reported 180 shootings, compared to 170 in September 2013, 211 in September 2012 and 175 in September 2011.
In those shootings, 236 people were wounded — nearly a 10 percent increase in shooting victims from September 2013. There were 237 gunshot victims in September 2012 and 204 in September 2011.
“In the past two years we have led a return to community policing in Chicago, breaking down of middle management in the department, putting more officers back on the beat, taking new proactive steps to intervene in gang conflicts, and building stronger relationships with faith leaders, community leaders and residents,” Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said in a statement.
Police noted that between October 2012 and September 2014 the city had eight straight quarters of murder reduction and saw a 14 percent decrease in murders compared to the eight quarters of October 2011 to September 2013. Police also said there have been nearly 500 fewer shootings and more than 500 fewer gunshot victims during that time.
“We will continue to implement our strategy, making adjustments and adding new elements along the way, and no one will rest until everyone enjoys the same sense of safety,” McCarthy said.