Homicides continue to mount in Chicago

According to a report by The Chicago Tribune, January 2013 homicides and shootings in Chicago are outpacing 2012 statistics. The number of homicides, according to a Tribune analysis of police data, in the city increased to 42 on Tuesday, January 29, making it the worst start to the year since 2002. From January 1 through 28 in 2012 there were 148 shootings; from the same period in 2011 some 138 shootings were logged, an increase of 7.25 percent.

For Chicago, 2012 was one of the most violent ever—with more than 500 homicides recorded. “With two days still left in the month, this marked the second consecutive January in which Chicago has hit at least 40 homicides. The 40 homicides last January represented a jump of 43 percent from 28 in January 2011. While Chicago never quite recovered over the rest of the year from an even sharper jump in violence over the first quarter of 2012, homicides fell or were flat in the year's last four months,” reported The Chicago Tribune.

Just this past weekend, The Chicago Tribune reported a story on Shirley Chambers, a mother who lost her last living son to gun violence on Saturday. He was one of four siblings, all killed in Chicago’s streets. And in another tragic twist, a 15-year-old girl who had performed in President Barack Obama's inauguration festivities was killed in a Chicago park as she talked with friends by a gunman who was not targeting her, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Chicago police said Hadiya Pendleton was in a park about a mile from Obama's home in a South Side neighborhood Tuesday afternoon when a man opened fire on the group. Hadiya was shot in the back as she tried to escape, said the AP report.