CHICAGO (CBS) — Heading into the July 4th holiday later this week, Chicago police say shootings have hit a four-year low.
The latest crime statistics come on the heels of a weekend that saw 56 people shot in Chicago, four of them fatally. Still, police said shootings are on the decline overall through the end of June.
So far this year, 1,229 people have been shot in Chicago, about 100 fewer than the first six months of 2018, and the lowest total since 2015. Police also said there have been 236 murders through the end of June, 21 fewer than the same time period last year.
Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said he’s not happy with the numbers, but he called them a step in the right direction.
Police also announced some new measures to help solve and fight crime.
First, they’ve installed new technology to help access cell phone videos quicker. Johnson said this has been a problem for detectives, depending on the cell phone carrier.
Another new tool for the department is a system called Gun Data, which helps track gun offenders from their arrest through the legal process, and even through parole or probation.
“We’ll monitor that individual from beginning to end, to see what consequence and how effective that consequence is for that particular individual,” Johnson said.
Police also said the department’s clearance rate on murder cases – the percentage of cases in which detectives arrest or identify a suspect – is currently 51%. In 2017, the city had only a 17% clearance rate on murders.
During the violence over the weekend, 17-year-old Jarise Baker was shot and killed early Saturday in the North Lawndale neighborhood.
Baker was walking his girlfriend home around 12:30 a.m. near 18th and Keeler, when someone in a passing car shot them both. Baker was shot in the chest and upper body, and died at Mount Sinai Hospital. His girlfriend was shot in the arm, and was stabilized at Mount Sinai.
During a vigil Sunday night, relatives said Baker was not involved in a gang or drugs.
“We’re going to be on the police every day, all day, until we get answers for my nephew, because he doesn’t deserve it. Six shots to my body, is you serious,” said his aunt, Alicia Baker. “
Most recently, two people were shot outside a 7-Eleven convenience store near 61st and Kedzie. Witnesses told police the victims were walking when a dark-colored SUV drove up, someone got out of the rear driver’s side, and began shooting.
Police said a 40-year-old man was shot in the head, leg, and ankle; and a 30-year-old woman was shot in the eye, leg, and shoulder. Both were in critical condition at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.