Seven people were killed and at least 20 more wounded by gunfire in strictly gun-controlled Chicago over the Christmas weekend, according to the New York Times.
Officer Jose Estrada, a spokesman with the Chicago Police Department, told the Times that the total number of homicides in the city so far this year was 745. That's a 56 percent increase from 476 at the same time last year, and the first time in nearly two decades that more than 700 homicides had been recorded in the city.
The total number of shooting victims so far is 4,252, up 47 percent from 2,884 at the same time in 2015, stated Officer Estrada. Nearly all of the people shot were men, the majority under 30, according to data from The Chicago Tribune.
Forty-two homicides have been recorded so far this month, compared with 33 during December last year.
The Times noted that this skyrocketing violence "is fueled in part by gangs, whose disagreements range from neighborhood turf wars to disputes over girlfriends. The conflicts often escalate quickly to gunfire."
One of the victims was an 18-year-old Hispanic man who was shot multiple times in the neck and back while he was driving at 1:30 a.m. on Christmas Day in the Gage Park neighborhood, on the city’s Southwest Side.