While it may not seem like cause to celebrate in most cities, Chicago has been on a five-day streak without a fatal shooting since March of last year.
The last fatal shooting in the city happened on January 11th around 11:30 AM. 33-year-old Uriah Hughes was killed in the Austin neighborhood.
There have still been 25 people shot and wounded during this time period which includes the weekend of Martin Luther King Day.
This stretch is notable as it is the first time since early last year Chicago has gone this long without a fatal shooting. Between Feb 28th and March 6th of last year, no one was killed from gun violence. It was the first time in four years that the city had gone a week without a fatal shooting.
There have been 19 homicides in in Chicago in 2018 so far, with sixteen of those the result of gun violence. While obviously still early in the year, this is already better news than previous years.
2017 ended January with 52 people murdered and 300 people shot. In 2016, a year that saw an incremental increase in homicides compared to years past, ended January with 51 people murdered. There were 670 homicides in 2017 compared to 808 in 2016.
“It’s important to keep in mind these numbers aren’t a spike of the football by any means,” explained Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson last month, and that it’s “going to take time to root out everything we need to do.”
“It’s no secret that some of our neighborhoods have felt the effects of illegally obtained firearms and the offenders who are willing to use them for far too long,” he added at the beginning of the year. “There’s still a lot of work ahead of us, but we’re heading in the right direction.”
The city has unveiled their plan to drastically increase the police force in an effort to curb gun violence. Part of the plan is to increase Strategic Decision Support Centers around the city.
“That will allow the police department to go from reactive to proactive – rather than waiting to stop the second shot, they’ll be stopping the first shot from ever happening,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
As Chicago saw a dip in shootings and homicides between 2016 and 2017, hopefully 2018 sees the trend continue.