Chicago Tribal Warfare Count Hits 500

With a holiday weekend spate of violence that killed 13 people, the homicide toll in the nation’s third-largest city hit 500, a grim milestone that puts the city on track to reach a murder rate it hasn't seen since the drug wars of the1990s.

The Labor Day weekend murders come after police recorded 92 murders in August, the deadliest month for Chicago since June 1993. 

With murders up roughly 50% for the year, Chicago has tallied more homicides than the much larger cities of New York and Los Angeles combined.

The city is on pace to record well over 600 murders for 2016, a threshold it has not reached since 2003.

In the most recent shooting on Monday night on the city’s West Side, someone in a silver mini-van opened fire on a group of teens and young men, killing two 22-year-old men and seriously wounding two teenagers, 16 and 17, and a 20-year-old, police said.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson has blamed the recent surge in killings on increased gang activity and weak gun laws.

"It’s important that we all wrap our heads around what’s going on here in Chicago," a frustrated Johnson told reporters Tuesday.

Over the Labor Day weekend, Chicago experienced the most jarring spasm of violence in a span of 14 hours Monday, when nine people died.

A 33-year-old man was killed less than a half hour earlier, around 6:48 p.m., in a drive-by shooting in the Englewood neighborhood on the city’s South Side, one of the areas most plagued by gun violence.

Three hours earlier, a 44-year-old man suffered fatal wounds to his head, neck and back while trying to escape from assailants.  

About 1:25 p.m., police were called to a home in the Brighton Park neighborhood, where they found a 22-year-old man lying dead in his driveway with a large chest wound. He also appeared to suffer several stab wounds to the chest, police said.

Additionally, police said a 24-year-old man was fatally shot in the Englewood neighborhood and a second man, 26, was critically wounded around 9:32 a.m. Authorities said both victims had known gang ties

The 26-year-old man, who was wounded in the thigh and suffered a graze wound to the head, is refusing to cooperate with investigators. 

Police were also called to a residence on the South Side early Monday morning where they found an 80-year-old man with a gunshot wound to the face. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Pacheco said the suspect, who has been arrested but not yet charged, shot the elderly man after an argument.

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