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Last Month Was The Deadliest May In Chicago Since 1995

By Mae Rice in News on Jun 1, 2016 8:06PM

Crime scene tape (Photo by LukaTDB via Shutterstock)

Sixty-six people were killed in Chicago last month, according to police numbers, which represents a 40 percent rise in Chicago homicides from last May. (Forty-seven people were killed in May 2015, police said.) The final homicide count also makes this May the city's deadliest May since 1995, the Tribune reports.

The last person killed in Chicago last month was, tragically, a 15-year-old boy. He was fatally shot in the chest at 10:15 a.m. in the 2900 block of East 89th Street, police said. He was taken to Advocate Trinity Hospital, and died shortly thereafter; no suspects are in custody as of yet. The boy, Fabien Lavinder, was riding in a car when his attacker emerged from an alley and shot him, the Tribune reported.

Gun violence such as this was up in Chicago in May, along with homicides. The city saw 318 shootings and had 397 shooting victims in May, a rise of 20 percent and 25 percent, respectively, from last May's counts (264 and 318).

“Violence will not be tolerated wherever and whenever it occurs," police chief Eddie Johnson said in an email statement. "[A]nd while there is much more work to do to make our streets safer, we have made important progress to slow down the uptick in violence compared to the beginning of the year."

(For context: The first quarter of the year was unusually deadly, with a homicide rate comparable to 1999's.)

Homicides and gun violence have been on the rise in Chicago—and police activity, despite a few recent highly-touted busts like this one, has been down—since footage of a police officer fatally shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was released publicly in November of 2015.

This problem shows especially clearly in Chicago's year-to-date murder tallies: From the beginning of the year through May 31, 243 people were murdered in Chicago this year, compared to 164 in 2015. That represents an almost 50 percent rise.

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