Chicago's Homicide Count Surpassed 500 Over Labor Day Weekend

More than 500 people have been murdered in Chicago so far in 2016.

Chicago Police car

Image via WikiCommons

Chicago Police car

Sixty-five people were shot, 13 fatally in Chicago over Labor Day weekend, bringing the city's 2016 homicide count to 512. According to the Chicago Tribune, this figure exceeds the homicide count in the city for the entirety of 2015. Much of the violent crime that occurred over the holiday weekend was isolated to Monday. The Chicago Tribune reports that 31 of the shooting victims were shot between 6 a.m. on Monday and 3 a.m. Tuesday. 

The 13 fatalities made Labor Day weekend the deadliest holiday weekend the city has seen all summer, the Tribune further reported. There were 69 shootings over Memorial Day weekend, six of which were fatal. Over Fourth of July weekend, five people were shot and killed, and another 61 were shot non-fatally. 

As with Fourth of July weekend this year, many of the homicides the city saw this weekend were committed in towards the end of the holiday weekend, on the early hours of Monday morning. According to the Tribune, Chicago police say that the late holiday weekend shootings were primarily committed by gangs, in retaliation to heated encounters that occurred throughout the weekend. 

The Tribune reports that homicide rates in Chicago haven't been so dire since the mid 1990's, when there were more than 900 homicides per year. The 90 homicides the Tribune tallied for August ties with June of 1996, and that figure comes second only to July of 1993, when 99 people were killed in Chicago.

The Tribune reported in July that while Chicago doesn't have the nation's highest murder rate per-capita—St. Louis saw 50 murders per 100,000 people in 2015, the most in the country—it far exceeds other large US cities in sheer number of homicides. In 2015, 494 homicides were committed in Chicago, New York saw 339 killings, and Los Angeles counted 280.

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