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436th Homicide, Chicago Surpasses Last Year’s Total

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File Photo Of Ambulance (AP Photo)

File Photo Of Ambulance (AP Photo)

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Updated 10/29/2012 at 9:45 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago surpassed last year’s total of 435 homicides Monday when a man died after being shot, authorities said.

The victim was one of two people wounded in separate shootings that occurred just four blocks and half an hour apart Monday morning in the South Chicago neighborhood.

The first shooting occurred at 9:51 a.m. in the 8000 block of South Manistee Avenue, police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli said.

A male, whose age was not immediately known, was hospitalized for multiple gunshot wounds to the leg and arm. He was reported in serious condition.

The second shooting occurred at 10:34 a.m. when a man in his 30s was shot in the 7900 block of South Escanaba Avenue.

He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office, which had no further information on the victim.

Area South detectives are investigating.

This comes after a man was shot and killed inside a home late Sunday on the South Side, marking the city’s 435th homicide of the year — equaling the total last year.

Bariffe Fitz, 68, was found shot in the chest about 11 p.m. inside a residence in the 9400 block of South La Salle Street.

Mayor Emanuel commented on the grim numbers while attending an event at a Humboldt Park area school Monday. He said he wants kids to think about their studies, not their safety.

“We have other milestones,” Emanuel said of the homicide peak. “One is, overall crime is down 9 percent in the city, the single-largest drop on record. Second, we’re tearing down the 200th building where gangbangers and drug dealers hang out.”

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore Reports

Emanuel said October’s level of homicides will be 30 percent lower than last year during the same period.

Police Supt. Garry McCarthy also expressed disappointment in the number of homicides.

“It’s a disappointing milestone,” he said on the CBS 2 Morning News. “You can’t manage this and you can’t talk about murder in a positive fashion.”

While murders in Chicago will easily exceed last year’s total, the murder rate has been declining since April 1, when police began to initiate new gang-fighting strategies, McCarthy said. The numbers are high because of a big spike in violence in the first three months of the year, McCarthy said.

One of those gang-fighting components includes denying individual recognizance bonds to gang members. So far, 5,500 I bonds have been denied to keep gang members in jail while police work to investigate crimes.

Over the weekend, six people were killed and 14 wounded.

The city’s 434th homicide of the year happened Sunday night when a man died after he was shot in the chest on the Southwest Side, authorities said.

The 35-year-old man was shot at 7:59 p.m. in the 1300 block of West 13th, police said.

A neighbor, who asked not to be named, said her children under age 7 were home and dropped to the floor when they heard shots.

“It’s scary. The babies are in here watching TV and this happens,” she told the Sun-Times.

While the city had reported there were 433 homicides in 2011, a police official on Sunday said the number of homicides last year has been updated to 435 after two deaths were reclassified.

Also on Sunday, at 4:30 p.m., a 23-year-old man was shot in a South Side alley.

Police covered the body with a sheet as passersby craned their necks near 69th and Halsted for a look.

“It’s wild around here all the time,” said a man smoking a cigarette a few yards away, who asked not to be named. “That’s the nature of the beast. It’s sad, really.”

About six hours earlier, a 21-year-old man was killed in a shooting in the 1100 block of North Keystone in Humboldt Park, police said. A 17-year-old male was also wounded in the shooting and taken in good condition to Stroger Hospital.

Earlier still Sunday, around 2:40 a.m., 22-year-old Johnny White was shot and killed while standing in a South Side parking lot on the 7500 block of South Rhodes, police said.

On Saturday morning, 21-year-old Devon Greer was fatally shot through a window while playing video games with his brother in an apartment in Humboldt Park, authorities said.

Greer, of south suburban Lansing, was inside an apartment on the 3800 block of West Augusta Boulevard when shots rang out around 3:40 a.m., authorities said. Greer’s brother was not injured.

Later Monday, at least two more people were fatally wounded in shootings, taking the total even higher.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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