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14 Homicides on the 4th of July Weekend: The Most in Years, But Not by Much

The city’s violent holiday was sadly typical. Here’s a look at the 2014 killings in context.

Over the long weekend in Chicago—Thursday through Sunday—82 people were shot, 14 of whom were killed. (The Trib’s Peter Nickeas has an extraordinarly vivid timeline of the weekend.) As the numbers were tallied up, the news spread throughout the world; it’s one of the top stories on the CNN, ABC, and NBC sites right now, not to mention endless online outlets.

But is it that unusual? Going back to 2001, yes: it’s the most homicides, based on the data at the city’s data portal, over the Thursday-Sunday including or nearest to July 4th. It’s the most since last year, when 13 people were killed. That was the most since 2006, when 12 where killed.

015369122013201220112010200920082007200620052004200320022014Source: City of Chicago

The average? 9.5 per holiday per year.

Shootings are somewhat harder to come by quickly, but over last year’s holiday weekend, the Tribune counted more than 70 shootings over the Wednesday-Sunday period. In 2012, there were 12 shootings over four hours on July 3rd, a Tuesday, and 15 over six hours. 2010: a dozen shootings overnight on July 4, a Sunday. 2009: 11 murders in less than 30 hours, with “dozens” injured.

Yes, this weekend’s tally was unusual, but it wasn’t far outside the city’s normal realm of experience. It’s a problem that’s developed over years, has remained a problem for years, and is likely to take many years, and many different solutions, to solve.

 

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