How Chicago Shootings Compare With Other U.S. Cities

Despite an overall decline in violent crimes, Chicago is one of a number of cities in the U.S. to see an increase in shootings so far this year.

Already known as a city with a high rate of gun violence, Chicago has been under the microscope in recent months as the figures continue to rise amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Over the July 4 weekend—a busier than usual period for police forces across the country at the best of times—at least 64 people were shot.

According to the latest figures, there were 414 shootings incidents in Chicago between July 6 and July 12, a 98 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

In total, the Chicago Police Department said that the city has seen 1541 shooting incidents up to July 12 this year, 46 percent more than the same period in 2019.

While an increase of gun crimes is expected in the spring and summer months, the number of other crimes in Chicago has gone down, with robberies, batteries, thefts and sexual assaults all lower in 2020 than the first seven months of 2019.

But Chicago is not the only U.S. city to see such trends. In New York, the total number of violent crimes has decreased while shootings have risen significantly.

There have been 634 shootings in New York up to July 12, with 777 victims. This is an increase of 61 percent and 70 percent respectively from 2019.

In the week between July 6 and July 12 alone, there were a total of 318 shootings, more than triple the amount that occurred during the same week in 2019.

Despite this, the total number of violent crimes has decreased from 47,438 in 2019 to 46,083 so far this year, with the city's strict lockdown amid the pandemic a possible cause for the decrease in crime.

However, the figures show that, possibly due to the increase in shootings, the number of homicides in the city has increased by 23 percent to 203 this year.

Philadelphia is another city that has seen an increase in homicides and shootings this year. The Philadelphia Police Department has already recorded 216 homicides, more than 20 percent more than during the same period in 2019.

The city has also recorded a 54 percent increase in shootings and 33 percent more shooting victims so far in 2020 compared to last year.

In Missouri, Kansas City is on course to record its highest ever number of shooting homicides this year.

According to figures, there have been 105 homicides this year compared to 78 during the same period in 2019. This year's figure is just 48 fewer than the record of 153, recorded in 1993.

All but 11 of the 105 homicides in Kansas City this year were as a result of a firearm.

Kansas City Police Chief Richard Smith previously expressed concern about how shootings and homicides have been "increasing steadily" in a blog post detailing the 204 living shooting victims up to May 2020 compared to 160 at the same time in 2019.

In Cincinnati, there have been a reported 229 shootings so far this year—a 47 percent increase which works out at around three additional shootings per week— compared to 2019.

David Abrams, a University of Pennsylvania law and economics professor, created a website documenting the levels of crimes in 25 cities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall, the data found that violent crimes across these 25 cities, including New York, Detroit, Boston, and Portland, had fallen by 15 percent compared to the previous five-year average.

However, despite the documented rise of gun crime in several cities, Abrams said the data does not support a suggestion that the pandemic caused the increase overall.

"This is a seasonal trend—there are always more shootings and homicides as the weather gets warmer in the spring and summer," Abrams said.

"In our analysis where we control for seasonality, there is no change in the number of homicides or shootings due to the pandemic. This may be in part due to the fact that people engaged in these activities are unlikely to be concerned with stay-at-home orders."

(File photo) Chicago Police officers monitor the area outside of the Chicago Mercy Hospital where a gunman opened fire in Chicago on November 19, 2018. There have been 1541 shootings in Chicago this year, 46 percent more than the same period in 2019. KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP/Getty