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Chicago has had most mass shootings in U.S. since 2018 -- what's the solution?

Chicago has had most mass shootings in U.S. since 2018
Chicago has had most mass shootings in U.S. since 2018 02:31

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The massacre that killed 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas is putting the spotlight on gun violence in Chicago.

Chicago has the dubious distinction of having the most mass shootings in the U.S. since 2018. But as CBS 2's Suzanne Le Mignot reported Thursday, the problem is often overlooked – and difficult to solve.

From September 2018 to May 24 of this year, data show Chicago has led the nation's cities - with 811 people killed and injured in mass shootings.

Cities With Most Mass Shootings - Most Killed & Injured by City (Sept. 29, 2018 - May 24, 2022)

The map below shows the majority of the violence is in disadvantaged areas on the South and West sides of Chicago - where there has historically been a lack of jobs and advancement. The only exception to that trend, as seen on the map, is the mass shooting outside the McDonald's at Chicago Avenue and State Street last week.


"More young individuals in particular gravitate into groups - sometimes called gangs - so what emerges is rivalries," said Professor Daniel Webster, Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions.

Webster has studied gun violence and mass shootings for more than three decades.

"What the gun laws look like, what the demographic and sort of population density issues look like in the city - all, all matter," he said.

Webster says while Chicago has restrictive gun laws, the state of Illinois, is in the middle - leading many to buy their guns in neighboring states with very weak laws -- like Wisconsin and Indiana.

When looking at per capita data from September of 2018 to May 24 of this year, Chicago ranks fourth with those killed and injured in mass shootings - behind St. Louis, New Orleans, and Baltimore.

Mass Shootings By City Per 100,000 Population (Sept. 29, 2018 - May 24, 2022)

"Each of those cities have problems with group violence," Webster said. "People are commonly in on the street, you know, gathered together - and someone pulls out a gun and starts firing."

So what's the solution?

"Literally from the ground up, rebuild the communities where crime and violence is highest in Chicago neighborhoods," said Dr. Arthur Lurigio, a professor of Criminal Justice and Psychology Loyola University Chicago.

Lurigio has studied violence for more than 40 years.

"Making some progress with regard to violence in the communities is to effectuate more arrests - for the shooters and the perpetrators of homicide," Lurigio said. "The clearance rates in Chicago and many other large cities are quite low, alarmingly low."

Many are reluctant to come forward because of the fear of retaliation after a mass shooting. Lurigio says police must work to build relationships of trust, in Chicago's neighborhoods.

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