Kevin Nichols was standing on porch when he was shot to death in Austiin

Kevin Nichols was shot to death while standing on a porch in Austin on Monday night.

Nichols, 25, was standing on a porch with a female in the 400 block of North Lawler about 9:35 p.m., when another male walked up and shot him in the chest, according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Nichols, who lived on the same block, was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:21 p.m., the medical examiner’s office said.

—Chicago Sun-Times Wire

Adrian Jeffries of Holland, Michigan, shot to death in West Englewood

Adrian Jeffries, a 44-year-old Michigan man, was shot to death late Saturday in West Englewood.

Jeffries was standing on a sidewalk about 11:05 p.m. in the 6000 block of South Throop when someone got out of a black SUV and opened fire, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

He was struck in the head and back, and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he died at 2 a.m. Sunday, authorities said.

Jeffries was from Holland, Mich., about 30 miles southwest of Grand Rapids.

—Chicago Sun-Times Wire

After years of helping others deal with loss of loved ones, Andrew Holmes now feels the pain of losing a daughter

Chicago Sun-Times

Tamara Sword with her kids, Jeremiah, 7; Jakiera, 9; Terrell, 8; Joe, 10; and Kierra, 16. | Photo provided by Andrew Holmes

Tamara Sword with her kids, Jeremiah, 7; Jakiera, 9; Terrell, 8; Joe, 10; and Kierra, 16. | Photo provided by Andrew Holmes

Chicago anti-violence activist Andrew Holmes has spent years supporting the grieving parents of victims of shootings.

On Saturday, Holmes joined their ranks when his oldest daughter—a mother of five—was shot and killed in Indianapolis, where she’d lived for about eight years.

“It done hit my doorstep,” Holmes said by phone from Indianapolis. “Now, I don’t have to only wear these shoes, but I have to lace them up and tie them up and keep pushing.”

Holmes said his daughter, Tamara Sword, was with friends at an Indianapolis club when it was shut down after an altercation inside. Sword, 32, and her friends went to a nearby gas station, he said, and those who had been fighting in the club ended up there, too.
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Kelly Burrell killed in drive-by shooting while standing on porch in Englewood

Kelly Burrell was killed and a man was injured in a shooting early Saturday in the South Side Englewood neighborhood.

Burrell, 23, and the 20-year-old man were on a porch in the 7300 block of South Green at 2:50 a.m. when a light-colored vehicle drove up and someone inside fired shots, police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.
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Police: 161 murders in 151 days in Chicago

Homicide Watch Chicago

Chicago Police reported nearly four dozen murders in May, and the city is averaging more than a killing a day so far this year.

The 46 slayings in May, as measured by the Chicago Police Department, are the most in any month this year, but the total is not out of the ordinary. Police reported 47 homicides in May 2013, and 50 in May 2012. There were 40 killings during the month last year.

Chicago now has 161 murders for the year — the highest total through the first five months of the year since 2012, when 208 people had been killed by June 1.
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Police: One less April murder, but killings still up 18 percent

Homicide Watch Chicago

Chicago Police reported one less murder and three fewer shootings last month compared to April 2014.

While April violence remained relatively unchanged, a surge in killings in January and March has led to an 18 percent increase in murders through the first four months of the year. Murders had been up nearly 30 percent through the first quarter of the year.

In 2015, police have reported 115 murders, and the Cook County medical examiner’s office, which counts killings different, ruled 120 Chicago deaths a homicide, including one person fatally shot by police.

Police reported 34 murders last month, which occurred in 28 of Chicago’s 77 communities. South Shore had the most April slayings with three.
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UPDATE: Chicago Police statement on violence in Logan Square

On Friday, Homicide Watch Chicago reported that the Logan Square community has recorded five murders so far this year, putting it in a tie for third among Chicago’s 77 official community areas.

Chicago Police released the following statement about the violence in the area:

CPD is constantly analyzing the latest crime data, trends or patterns, which allows us to adjust officer deployment, tweak strategies that could be more effective and expand efforts that are delivering promising results as we work to continue reducing crime and violence. Today the 14th police district, which covers most of Logan Square, is home to some of CPD’s most forward thinking efforts, which we believe will build relationships with area residents and improve the safety of the community.
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New murder hot spot: Hip Logan Square

Homicide Watch Chicago

Logan Square has long been known for its public art projects and, more recently, for its trendy restaurants and bustling bars.

Lately, it’s also become one of the city’s hot spots for murder.

There have been five killings so far this year in the Northwest Side neighborhood. That puts Logan Square in a four-way tie with North Lawndale, Roseland and South Shore for the third-most murders this year among Chicago’s 77 official community areas.

The only areas with more murders this year: Austin, with seven, and West Englewood, with six.

Over the past decade, it’s taken a full year, on average, for Logan Square to see as many killings as it already has this year in less than four months.
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Medical examiner’s office reports 100th Chicago homicide of 2015

Homicide Watch Chicago Editor

A Thursday autopsy confirmed that a woman fatally shot early Wednesday in the Uptown neighborhood was the 100th homicide of 2015.

Last year, the Cook County medical examiner’s office did not report its 100th homicide until April 27.
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Killings on the rise in typically quiet Ashburn

Homicide Watch Chicago

Chicago Police got off to a rough start this year, with 30 percent more murders reported than in the first three months of 2014.

But residents of the Southwest Side’s Ashburn community don’t need a calculator to work out that killings are on the rise in their part of town.

Over the last decade, middle-class Ashburn has averaged less than four killings per year. This year, it’s suffered four murders already.

It’s come as a shock in a community that had a reputation for being relatively safe. Of its 42,000 residents, more than half of whom are black, about 83 percent have at least a high school degree. The median income is about $67,000 – above the average for Chicago, according to census data.

“It used to be really nice around here,” said Ayinde Brown, 19, who regularly visits his grandmother in Ashburn.
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