CHICAGO -- Just 23 days into the New Year, and Chicago is already on pace to have more shootings and killings than last year.
According to the Chicago Tribune, both homicide and shooting numbers are higher than this time last January. As of early Monday, at least 228 people were shot in Chicago so far this year, a 5.5 percent increase from the 216 shot in the same time last year. There have been at least 42 homicides, up 23.5 percent from the 34 homicides from the same period in 2016.
In response, CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson said police carried out raids on some of "the main sources of violence in the city,’" making 120 arrests.
"We just have to do something to send a message to these individuals – the repeat gun offenders – that we just won’t tolerate it. Until we do that, we’re going to continue to see this violence," Johnson said.
98 of those arrested had previous contact with CPD, 83 are convicted felons, 63 are documented gang members, and 33 have been arrested on gun charges, according to police. Officers also seized 19 illegal guns, including four rifles.
"These guns were guns that were going to be used on the street: we recovered shotguns, we recovered assault weapons, we recovered guns with extended magazines capable of shooting 30, 40 rounds at a time," said Chief of Organized Crime, Tony Riccio. Riccio said the raids were geared at stopping the violence.
Just three weeks into the new year, there have been 42 homicides compared to 50 in all of last January. Last weekend saw 54 shootings across the city with – 6 people killed.
Once again, Supt. Johnson called on state lawmakers to provide stiffer penalties for repeat gun offenders, which he says would go a long way toward keeping violent criminals behind bars and off the streets.