Bloody weekend pushes Chicago to 40 homicides in January
Police say Chicago, which is facing its deadliest January in more than a decade, has a gang problem and a high number of firearms.
CHICAGO — A bloody weekend in which seven people were killed and six wounded has put an abrupt end — at least for now — to hopes that Chicago was at least putting a lid on its frightening homicide rate.
With a few days left in the month, the nation's third-largest city now finds itself on the cusp of its deadliest January in more than a decade. The news comes just after Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy had announced that after several violent months, Chicago had seen a drop in homicides at the end of 2012 and for the first few weeks of 2013.
Police say the homicide rate is a reflection of the city's gang problem and a proliferation of guns. Chicago has for years tried to cut off the flow of guns. It has what city officials have called the strictest handgun ordinance in the U.S. But police officials say more needs to be done, and that penalties for violating gun laws should be stiffer.
Among those killed over the weekend was 34-year-old Ronnie Chambers, who was shot in the head with what police believe was an assault weapon. Such guns are banned in Chicago but can be purchased legally in the suburbs or nearby states. Chambers is the fourth child of Shirley Chambers to fall victim to gun violence.