A 28-year-old man was killed Monday night in Chicago’s West Englewood neighborhood, pushing Chicago past what the Chicago Sun-Times calls the “miserable milestone’ of 600 homicides this year, a 24 percent uptick over the same period last year, and 100 killings more than the homicide totals in New York and Los Angeles combined. Nonfatal shootings also are way up citywide. As of last week, more than 2,100 people had been wounded this year and survived, compared with about 1,400 people shot in the same time period in 2015.
“It wasn’t always like this,” said Vernadette Taylor of the West Englewood area. “Within the last two or three years it’s gotten to be almost like you’re in the middle of a war zone.” As of mid-October, police had made arrests in 115 homicide cases this year. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson put much blame for the violence rise on “repeat gun offenders.” He said, “While we have increased our enforcement efforts this month … the lack of accountability for repeat gun offenders is sickening and it continues to drive the cycle of violence in Chicago.” He said current anticrime strategy is focusing on “expanding the size of the department, building a partnership with residents and working with legislators to ensure our sentencing laws help keep repeat gun offenders in jail where they belong.”