Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office confirms over 1,000 homicides for first time in 27 years

Chicago Crime

CHICAGO — The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed Tuesday that over 1,000 homicides have been registered in the county in 2021, representing the highest total since there were 1,141 homicides in 1994.

There have been 1,009 homicides to date in 2021 in Cook County, showing an increase over 986 homicides recorded in all of 2020. Last year’s homicide totals were more than 40 percent higher than 2019’s total of 675.

The county’s record for most homicides in a year was recorded in 1991, when 1,229 homicides were handled by the Medical Examiner’s Office.

The city of Chicago has registered 777 confirmed homicides in 2021, with just under 23 percent occurring in suburban Cook County.

The Cook County suburbs with the highest homicide totals this year are as follows:

  • Harvey: 30 homicides
  • Maywood: 16 homicides
  • Dolton: 11 homicides
  • Calumet City: 8 homicides
  • South Holland: 8 homicides
  • Berwyn: 7 homicides
  • Chicago Heights: 7 homicides
  • Cicero: 6 homicides
  • Markham: 6 homicides

African Americans accounted for 81 percent of the county’s homicide victims, with Latinos making up just under 15 percent of homicide deaths. 88 percent of victims were men.

The youngest person killed in Cook County in 2021 was a 1-month-old boy, with the oldest victim being an 84-year-old man.

The breakdown of victims separated by age are as follows:

  • 0-9: 12 homicides
  • 10-19: 144 homicides
  • 20-29: 389 homicides
  • 30-39: 255 homicides
  • 40-49: 111 homicides
  • 50-59: 59 homicides
  • 60-69: 29 homicides
  • 70+: 10 homicides

The Medical Examiner’s Office recorded 672 homicides in 2018 and 624 in 2019 before a meteoric rise in 2020 that has continued into 2021. More information on the county’s homicide tracking can be found here.

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