Chicago police say gun violence is on the rise this year

Crime

Police work at the scene of a fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy by a Chicago Police officer on Monday, March 29, 2021 in Chicago. Calls for the release of body camera video of the fatal shooting of the 13-year-old boy by a Chicago Police officer are growing louder both within and outside the department. As the agency that investigates police shootings says it is investigating if there is a legal way to release the video of Monday’s shooting of Adam Toledo, Police Superintendent David Brown and Mayor Lori Lightfoot both say it should be released. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune via AP)

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago has seen a significant increase in shootings and homicides so far this year, compared with the first four months of 2020, police said Saturday.

Statistics included in a news release from the Chicago Police Department reveal that a troubling rise in gun violence this year shows little sign of slowing down. The city had five fewer homicides this April than last April, but the number of shooting victims increased to 299 from 225.

So far this year, 997 people have been shot, compared with 718 last year. The city has had 187 homicides — 31 more than during the same period last year.

However, police did report some encouraging news about carjackings. According to the department, since adding 40 officers and four sergeants to a task force in early January, the number of reports of vehicular hijackings has dropped more than 55%.

“Vehicular hijackings remain a concern, but Chicago is trending in the right direction,” said Superintendent David O. Brown.

Police are on pace to seize far more guns than they did last year in the nation’s third-largest city, where officers recover more guns annually than are seized in New York and Los Angeles combined. According to the Chicago Police Department, the 3,600 guns seized so far this year represents a 34% increase from the total in the first four months of last year.

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This story has been corrected to say there have been 187 homicides this year, not 87.

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