Chicago recorded its 500th homicide of the year this week, a 21-year-old recent college graduate in computer science, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. No arrests have been made, but police suspect the shooting was gang-related. A statistical breakdown shows that killings of people ages 15 to 19 jumped from 58 in 2007 to 110 this year.
The near doubling of teenage homicide victims underscores what police have been saying: gang hierarchies have been dismantled by federal and local investigations, leaving younger crews of violent gang members on the street to vie for turf. “The department is looking at these trends involving the younger generation of gangs” and targeting them with a newly formed gang unit and the citywide Mobile Strike Force, police spokeswoman Monique Bond said. “What we are faced with is younger, more violent crews. There is a proliferation of guns in the hands of juveniles.”