Chicago IL Jan 2 2017 The city of Chicago recorded 762 homicides in 2016 — an average of two murders per day, the most killings in the city for two decades and more than New York and Los Angeles combined.
The city saw a surge in gun violence in 2016: 762 murders, 3,550 shooting incidents, and 4,331 shooting victims, according to a statement released by the department on Sunday.
There were 480 murders in 2015, the most in the city since 1997.
The nation's third largest city also saw 1,100 more shooting incidents than it did in 2015, according to statistics released by the Chicago Police Department that underlined a story of bloodshed that has put Chicago at the center of a national dialogue about gun violence.
The numbers released Sunday are staggering, even for those following the steady news accounts of weekends ending with dozens of shootings and monthly death tolls that hadn't been seen in years. The increase in 2016 homicides compared to 2015, when 485 were reported, is the largest spike in 60 years.
Police and city officials have lamented the flood of illegal guns into the city, and the crime statistics appeared to support their claims: Police recovered 8,300 illegal guns in 2015, a 20 percent from the previous year.
As part of plan to combat the rising homicide count, the Chicago Police Department will amp up its force in 2017.