Murder rate down for the year

Murder rate down for the year

November 14, 2002

BY ANNIE SWEENEY STAFF REPORTER

Chicago’s homicide rate is down 2 percent over the same period last year, Chicago police announced Wednesday.

There were 541 homicides between January and October, compared with 552 last year, Deputy Chief Gerard J. Mahnke said.

The decline is a retreat from September homicide statistics, which showed a 1 percent increase in homicides over the January-September period last year. Still, Mahnke refused to predict whether Chicago would finish the year with more homicides than last year.

“There’s still no way to tell,” Mahnke said. “It could pick up over the holidays or it could die down. All we can say is we can hope for the best.”

There were 54 homicides in October after 65 in September.

In homicides in which the motive was known, gang activity led with 121 cases, followed by narcotics and altercations, both with 81.

Police Supt. Terry Hillard also attended the Wednesday briefing to call attention to the number of children under the age of 2 who have been killed this year. Through October, 14 children were killed–all of them by a relative or close friend of the family, Hillard said.

“They really don’t have the parenting skills, the patience,” Hillard said, noting that none of the homicides involved a weapon.

Hillard and Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Director Jess McDonald will host a conference on the issue today at McCormick Place.

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