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Chicago in January: Murders and shootings skyrocket

CHICAGO -- There were more murders in Chicago last month than in any January in 16 years, and shootings were more than double what they were during the same month last year, reports CBS Chicago.

Gunfire wounded more than 292 people in Chicago last month, more than double the number of people shot during the same month last year. The city also had 51 murders in January, an increase of more than 75 percent over the 29 murders in January 2015.

"Both figures represent unacceptable increases from 2015 and were driven primarily by gang conflicts and retaliatory violence," Chicago Police Department spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said in an email. "While we have much more work to do, the entire Chicago Police Department is determined to keep every Chicagoan safe. We will continue to work tirelessly on ways to stop violence, and restore accountability and trust in communities throughout the city."

January's crime figures have Chicago on pace for 602 murders this year, and 3,447 shooting victims. The city has not had more than 600 murders since 2003. That's still a far cry from the 800 to 900 murders a year Chicago saw most years from the 1970s to 1990s, but it also outpaces New York City and Los Angeles, which have larger populations. Through Jan. 24, New York had 28 murders and 76 shooting victims. Through Jan. 23, Los Angeles had 23 homicides and 77 shooting victims.

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