Violence in Chicago takes no holidays

An ABC7 I-Team Investigation
CHICAGO (WLS) -- After an exceedingly violent Thanksgiving weekend, police records show a disturbing trend: shootings and killings have not taken a holiday in Chicago during 2017.

Over the five major holiday weekends that have occurred so far this year, 42 people have been murdered and 267 wounded. Most recently here, the long Thanksgiving holiday ended with eight dead and 36 wounded.

Even as 2017 city data shows violence spikes during holiday weekends, the total number of homicides is significantly fewer than last year. There have been 621 homicides in Chicago as of Monday, which is about 100 less than Thanksgiving weekend a year ago. And the total number of shootings so far- 3,322 - is down about 20 percent compared to last year.

Among the early shootings this Thanksgiving were apparent shots fired on the Eisenhower Expressway. Illinois State Police troopers marched across the outbound lanes before sunrise on Thanksgiving morning looking for possible evidence after a wounded man walked into Mount Sinai Hospital. The motorist arrived at the hospital about 4:20 a.m. but investigators said they were unable to find shell casings. The man was treated for non-life-threatening wounds.

While murders and shootings in the city are lower than 2016, both categories of violence are significantly higher than several previous years.

The worst holiday violence of 2017 occurred during the long Independence Day weekend. During that period, 15 people were killed and 102 wounded.

Christmas will be the final 2017 holiday - and violence typically doesn't take a break then. Last year, there were 11 people killed and 51 wounded over the Christmas holiday.

Authorities attribute the surge in violence over cold-weather holidays in part to additional domestic altercations.

Here is the complete 2017 holiday breakdown:

-New Year's: 5 dead, 49 shot
-Memorial Day: 7 dead, 45 wounded
-Independence Day: 15 dead, 102 wounded
-Labor Day: 7 dead, 35 wounded
-Thanksgiving: 8 dead, 36 wounded

The city is also headed for a record-low "clearance rate" this year, that is, the percentage of murder cases that are solved. In Chicago right now, only one in five murder cases ends up cleared. The national average is almost 60 percent.
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