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Cook County on pace for more than 900 homicides in 2020: medical examiner

Of all homicide victims so far in 2020, 79% were Black, with 16% Latino, according to the medical examiner. The vast majority of 2020 homicides — more than 80% — have occurred in Chicago, records show.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office reported the first heat-related death of the season in the county on July, 23, 2020.
Cook County — the second-most populous county in the country — hasn’t seen more than 900 homicides in a year since 2016.
Sun-Times file photo

With more than three months until the end of the year, Cook County has already recorded more homicides in 2020 than it saw in all of 2019.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office on Tuesday announced that it logged the 677th homicide of the year, eclipsing the 675 that were recorded a year earlier. By mid-September 2019, the county saw 487 homicides on the year.

According to the medical examiner, 86% of homicides in 2020 were the result of shootings.

Of all homicide victims so far in 2020, 79% were Black, with 16% Latino, according to the medical examiner.

The vast majority of 2020 homicides — more than 80% — have occurred in Chicago, records show.

Cook County — the second-most populous county in the country with about 5.1 million residents — is on track to see more than 900 homicides this year, according to the medical examiner’s office. It hasn’t crossed that threshold since 2016, when Chicago saw a historic spike in gun violence.

In 1994, the county recorded more than 1,100 homicides. That year was one of the worst on record for gun violence in Chicago, as well.

The city saw more than 930 murders that year, according to Chicago Police Department data.

While they’re often used interchangeably, the terms “murder” and “homicide” have different meanings. “Homicide” refers to the manner in which someone dies and is designated by a medical examiner or coroner. “Murder,” meanwhile, is a label assigned by police who have determined that a homicidal death is criminal in nature.