Updated 07/01/13 – 1:24 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – Though at least 26 people were shot this weekend – two of them fatally – Chicago police said gun violence is down compared to last year.
The number of murders for the first half of the year was the lowest in nearly 50 years.
WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, for the first six months of 2013, there were 274 fewer shootings and 76 fewer murders than the same time period last year.
In a statement, Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said, “it’s progress, and not victory, because one shooting or murder is unacceptable.”
According to the Police Department, shootings are down 25 percent from last year, and murders are down 29 percent. There have been fewer murders in Chicago than any year since 1965, police said.
Overall crime for the first half of 2013 is down 14 percent from last year, and 23 percent from 2011.
McCarthy argued violence would drop further in Chicago if illegal gun possession carried a mandatory 3-year minimum prison sentence, and those convicted had to serve at least 85 percent of that time.
Among the shootings this weekend, a 24-year-old man was shot and killed in the South Shore neighborhood on Sunday, and a 27-year-old man was slain outside his home in West Pullman.
A 26-year-old woman and her 2-year-old son also were wounded this weekend when three gunmen opened fire near a park in West Englewood.