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Chicago shootings up nearly 200 percent in 2016

CHICAGO -- On average, one person has been shot every three hours in Chicago since January 1st.

Just two hours into the New Year, 24-year-old Deandre Holiday was gunned down after a fight at a New Year's Eve party spilled into the street. He's Chicago's first homicide of what's so far been a bloody 2016.

Since January 1st, 110 people have been shot -- compared to 37 during the same time last year. That's a nearly 200 percent increase.

"In terms of crime, it's been a little bit of a frustrating start," said John Escalante, the acting superintendent of police. His predecessor, Garry McCarthy, was fired in December.

"A lot of it is gang conflicts, but also heavily driven by social media," Escalante said.

What police call "modern gang graffiti," are essentially taunting messages from alleged gang members challenging each other on Facebook and Twitter.

While overall crime was down before the new year, gun violence is soaring. One reason may be police officers possibly holding back in fear of being the subject of a viral video.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was overheard making that point to Attorney General Loretta Lynch last fall.

"We have allowed our police department to get fetal and it is having a direct consequence," Emanuel said.

Raydell Lacey's 19-year-old grandson Eric was one of the 21 people killed by guns this year.

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Raydell Lacey, right, with her grandson Eric, who was shot and killed in Chicago

Raydell Lacey

"He was headed on the right path. You know? To his full potential," said Lacey.

Eric started a job two weeks ago, and hoped to join the Navy. Saturday he was shot in the head in an apparent ambush. Lacey says he wasn't in a gang.

"Before he passed, they said he said 'We good? We good y'all?' Then they didn't hear him any more, and he just slumped over," said Lacey, weeping.