Chicago is poised to see the number of homicides in July dip from June, but the city is still on pace to see more people killed in 2016 than last year.
“We shake our heads and ask, ‘Why are some of our communities on the South and West Sides being held hostage by gun violence,’ ” Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said Monday.
There were 65 homicides in Chicago in July, according to Chicago Police. There were 71 homicides in the city in June and 66 in May.
The city has recorded 381 homicides so far in 2016, police said. That’s up about 44 percent from last year, when the city had 264 murders through July 31, 2015.
Police said 2,394 people were shot in the city so far in 2016, including 441 in July. In the same time period last year, 1,564 people had been shot through July 31, 2015.
Johnson invited reporters to join him in the 4400 block of West Adams next to a vacant lot where officers on Sunday seized an illegal handgun that marked the 5,000th gun police had taken off the streets so far in 2016.
“We’re doing a good job of arresting people and recovering these weapons. But we absolutely dropped the ball when it comes to holding people accountable. These repeat gun offenders are telling us they don’t want to play by the same rules,” Johnson said in arguing for legislation that provides stricter penalties for gun offenders.
“Until we hold repeat gun offenders responsible for their actions, we’re going to continue to see this violence.”
The homicide count kept by the Chicago Sun-Times and the police department does not include fatal shootings by police. On Thursday night, 18-year-old Paul O’Neal was shot and killed by police in the South Shore neighborhood.
Contributing: Mitch Dudek