Chicago and New York will close out the year with the lowest number of homicides in more than 40 years, while places like Baltimore, Atlanta, and Miami have seen killings go up because of what police say is a surge in guns and gang violence, reports the Associated Press. New York City reported 488 slayings as of Friday, versus 596 for all of 2006. Homicides in New York reached an all-time high of 2,245 in 1990. Chicago is on track to have the lowest homicide toll since 1965, when police reported 395 killings. The city logged 435 slayings through Dec. 26. In the early part of the decade, police often reported more than 600 a year.
Atlanta had 126 homicides as of Dec. 26, compared with 111 for the same period a year ago. Police attributed some of the increase to a New Orleans-based gang. In Philadelphia, killings dipped after reaching a nine-year high of 406 in 2006. Through midnight Tuesday, the city had 390 slayings, or 11 fewer than at the same point a year ago. Phoenix reported 207 killings at the end of November, just shy of last year’s total of 214 for the same period; Boston had 66 slayings as of Dec. 28, compared with 71 by the same point in 2006; Dallas was on track to finish considerably higher, with 200 homicides as of Dec. 26, versus 175 last year.