Feb. 28, 2015 marked the last day no one was reported shot in the city, according to the Chicago Police Department.
That is 732 days since a day and night passed when no one was shot.
“It makes me really sad,” said Dr. Michelle Gittler.
As head of the Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital, Gittler knows more than most about what a single gunshot can do to a human body.
When told of the inauspicious anniversary, she simply said, "It's not right."
“This is an issue of hopelessness, no consequences,” she said of the daily occurrence of shootings. “I don’t care about my life so I certainly don’t care about your life.”
It was uncommonly cold on Feb. 28, 2015, with a low of minus 10 recorded. This Feb. 28 brought storms to the Chicago area, along with another day and night of violence in which at least six people were shot.
“People don’t care anymore,” said Dr. Gittler. “I think people are exhausted. The people that it affects are exhausted. The people it doesn't affect are exhausted by everything else and this doesn’t bother them, because it isn’t part of their life.”
Chicago Police said the city saw 44 murders this February, according to crime data released early Wednesday by the Chicago Police Department. Police also counted 167 shooting incidents for the month.
“I don't think there is a safe place for no one outside,” said a 27-year old man sitting in a wheelchair in his hospital room, one of more than 420 shot in Chicago in the first two months of the year.
He asked that his name not be used. He was shot in the stomach in January, his first such injury, he said.
“When you grow up around violence you get accustomed to it,” he lamented.
“If that doesn’t make people believe this is a public health issue, I don’t know what does,” said Gittler.
As the shootings multiply, the Chicago Police Department has begun using high-tech solutions to try to minimize and isolate the violence.
In a small room in the 7th Police District in Englewood, officers sit at desks monitoring maps and data as it comes to them in real time.
A map marks hot spots where a crime is likely to occur. Photographs and names of people in the area with past criminal histories alert officers. An audio detection system can pinpoint to within 25 yards where a shot is fired. A recent incident in which six shots were fired in rapid succession, says Chief Jonathan Lewin, led to an arrest.
“It directed responding units to a specific yard,” he said, “which led to the identification of a suspect.”
But the police, he said, can’t alone stop the shooting without help from many others.
“The stakeholders are the community, the businesses, the churches, the schools, our prosecution, our judges, judges giving appropriate sentences for gun offenders,” he said.