CHICAGO (CBS) — Seven months into 2017, Chicago is on pace to outpace last year’s murder tally, according to the latest statistics from the Chicago Police Department.
While shootings citywide were down more than 13 percent in July 2017 compared to July 2016, murders were up, with 74 slayings last month, compared to 63 in July 2016.READ MORE: Colin Powell, First Black Secretary Of State, Dies At 84 Of Complications From COVID-19
The total number of murders through the entire year also was on the rise. At least 406 people have been slain in Chicago this year, compared to 390 through the end of July 2016.
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Last year ended with more than 750 murders in Chicago, the highest total in nearly 20 years.
Despite the high number of murders, Police Supt. Eddie Johnson was focusing on the positives, as July marked the 5th month in a row with a decline in the number of shootings compared to last year.
“Any violence in the city is always of concern, but I’d have to point back to the fact that this year we’ve had five consecutive months of gun reduction, and we haven’t seen that since 2013, so that’s room for encouragement,” Johnson said. “As far as the lethality of shootings go, you know, that’s something that we cannot control, but we’re still down 13 percent in overall shootings.”MORE NEWS: CBS 2's Ryan Baker Celebrates Chicago Sky Win With His Family At Wintrust Arena
Tuesday night, as part of the National Night Out, police officers planned to gather in many Chicago neighborhoods to help promote community partnerships and anti-violence efforts.