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McCarthy: City Death Toll at Lowest Rate Since 1963

Gun violence in Chicago has received increased national attention since 2012 when Chicago was the only city in the nation to record more than 500 homicides

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Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Tuesday morning there may have been more shooting incidents so far this year than in 2013 but fewer people were getting killed. In fact, he said the homicide totals are at their lowest rate since 1963.

Chicago police say the city had fewer homicides during the first six months of 2014 but dozens more shooting incidents and victims than during the same period in 2013.

Details released early Tuesday indicate:

  • There were 9 fewer murders in the first six months of 2014 as in the first six months of 2013, and 82 fewer murders than in the first six months of 2012
  • There were 46 more shooting incidents in the first six months of 2014 than in the first six months of 2013, and 227 fewer shooting incidents than in the first six months of 2012There were 85 more shooting victims in the first six months of 2013 than in the first six months of 2013, and 221 fewer shooting victims than in the first six months of 2012 

"Sometimes you have a higher percentage of people who die from gunshots. Sometimes you'll have four shootings [and] you'll have four murders. Sometimes you'll have 12 shootings with no murders. So, it's kind of like game of averages, unfortunately," he said during an appearance on the NBC 5 NEWS TODAY. "It sounds calous but that's the way the numbers work. At the end of the day, there's less people being murdered in this city since 1963. We're pretty pleased, and by the way: this is a long-term trend."

Gun violence in Chicago has received increased national attention since 2012 when Chicago was the only city in the nation to record more than 500 homicides. The release of the crime statistics also comes as the department has flooded the streets with hundreds of officers working overtime to combat the expected summer rise in violent crime.

The department says there were 172 homicides through June 30 -- nine fewer than during the same period last year. The number of shooting incidents rose from 844 to 890 and the number of shooting victims rose from 1,030 to 1,115 for the same period.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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