More than 1,000 people have been murdered in Cook County this year, the most since 1994As of Tuesday, the medical examiner’s office had recorded 1,009 murders this year — 100 more than this time last year. The youngest person killed was a 1-month-old boy, the oldest an 84-year-old man.
Tuesday, November 30, 2021
by Cindy Hernandez
With a month left in the year, Cook County has logged more than 1,000 homicides for the first time in 27 years.
As of Tuesday midday, the medical examiner’s office had recorded 1,009 murders — 100 more than this time last year.
The youngest person killed was a 1-month-old boy, the oldest an 84-year-old man. More than half the people murdered were under the age of 30.
Black people made up 81 percent of homicide victims and Latinos made up nearly 15 percent, the medical examiner’s office said.
The most homicides on record for any year in Cook County was 1,229 in 1991, according to the office. The last time the county passed 1,000 murders was in 1994 with 1,141. Last year, the toll was 986, and the year before that it was 675.
More than three-quarters of the homicides this year — 777 — have been in Chicago, where murders and shootings are both above all of last year, according to city data. Like the county, the city has not seen such levels of gun violence since the early and mid-1990s.
At least 4,105 people have been shot in Chicago this year, 8.1% more than last year and 69% more than in 2019.
All of the suburban homicides this year were to the south and west, with Harvey recording 30, nearly twice as many as the next highest suburb, Maywood, with 16.
Using the latest 2020 census data, Harvey’s homicide rate is almost five times higher than Chicago’s, with 14.8 murders for every 10,000 residents compared to Chicago’s 2.8. Maywood has a homicide rate of 7 per 10,000.
Harvey Mayor Christopher Clark blamed the high number of homicides on problems within the police department.
“That’s why we have made major structural changes in the police department,” Clark said, “including putting more officers on patrol instead of behind desks, launching a nationwide search to bring in fresh leadership, equipping our officers with additional training, tasers and body cams.
“We are all sickened by the number of homicides that have happened in Harvey this year,” he said. “Our community deserves much better.”
In the other suburbs, Dolton recorded 11 homicides, Calumet City eight, South Holland eight, Berwyn seven, Chicago Heights seven, Cicero six and Markham six.
Andy Boyle contributed to this report