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Posted: April 27, 2014

Chicago sees gun violence spike in April

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Chicago crime scene

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            Chicago sees gun violence spike in April
Chicago crime scene

By John O'Connor

Despite murder rates trending downward this year in Chicago, the city has seen some extremely violent days during the past few weekends. 

WMAQ reports more than 40 people have been shot in the city since Friday, five of them fatally. One of those killed was 32-year-old Leonore Draper, who was active in working to end violence on Chicago's south side. 

But while this weekend was bad, the weekend prior — Easter weekend — was even worse. 

Forty-five people were shot across the city, nine of which died as a result of their injuries. In one case, five children were shot while walking home from a park on the South Side Easter night. (Via WFLD)

The wave of recent violence is a chilling reminder of how quickly things can change for a city that's seen homicide rates decrease over the past year and a half. (Via WBBM)

In an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper earlier this week, Chicago's Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy says, despite a recent increase in bloodshed, the city's homicide rate is at its lowest since 1965. 

In 2013, the number of murders in Chicago was 415 —an 18 percent drop from the more than 500 murders the city saw in 2012. (Via CBS)

Much of that violence has been attributed to gangs and guns, neither of which are likely to go away anytime soon. 

CNN explains"In February, a federal judge struck down Chicago's ban on gun sales, saying it went 'too far in outright banning legal buyers and legal dealers from engaging in lawful acquisitions.' And in 2010, the Supreme Court declared Chicago's 28-year-old handgun ban unconstitutional." 

A writer for NBC says Chicago is increasingly becoming a tale of two cities.  "The North Side [has] experienced huge 20-year drops in the homicide rate." But most of the rest actually got worse "including the parts of the city ... that were already among the most dangerous ... It’s a classic tale of two Chicagos, one of them safe and prosperous, the other one dangerous and poor—and both of them growing more so.​"

Still, Chicago overall has seen favorable stats so far this year. In the first quarter, shootings were down 26 percent and overall crime was down 25 percent compared to last year.

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