UPDATED 2:46 PM PT – Saturday, January 2, 2021
Chicago wrapped up a particularly violent year with a near record number of homicides and shootings. According to police on Friday, 2020 ended with 769 homicides. This is up from 274 in 2019.
There were also over 4,000 shooting victims compared to around 2,600 the year before. Police officers themselves were not spared from the violence either. 79 officers were shot at throughout 2020, compared to 22 in 2019.
Experts put much of the blame on the pandemic, citing record unemployment rates and high rates of mental health and substance abuse.
“This is an unprecedented rise in shootings and homicides in Chicago,” Loyola University Professor David Olsen said. “But we’ve also had an unprecedented situation with the pandemic.”
At least two people were reportedly killed and eight were wounded on the first day of the year. This includes two people who were injured in their own living room when someone fired from outside.
Car jackings also spiked in the city, with more than 1,300 in 2020 compared to around 600 the year before.