57 people shot over weekend; Chicago police say shootings at 4-year low in first half of 2019

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CHICAGO — Fifty-seven people were shot in Chicago over the weekend, four of them were killed. The weekend violence came as police said the city's shootings for the first half of 2019 were at a four-year low.

The shootings happened between Friday at 7 p.m. and Monday at 4 a.m.

The numbers are trending in the right direction, but Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said there’s certainly no cause for celebration.

"When we talk about crime in the city, we shuffle around these numbers, but we have to remember these are people that we’re actually talking about. So, it’s never acceptable to us," said Johnson.

Chicago police said it’s all hands on deck when it comes to public safety, and that approach appears to be working.

The first half of the year marks a four-year low of shootings as well as the lowest number of murders since 2016. Overall crime is down 9% across the city, including a 7% decline in murders and 11% decline in shootings, compared to this time last year

Chicago police credit the department’s efforts to keep illegal guns off the streets.

One plan is a new initiative called Gun Stat.

They'll focus on the top ten gun offenders in each district and follow them through the justice system.

"What we want to see is from the time they’re arrested, what happens with the court cases, the prosecution, and ultimately what’s the final outcome of that case," said Johnson. "We simply haven’t done that before so I think this will give us a better picture, or a better idea, of how effective we’re doing in terms of holding people accountable for gun offenses."

Johnson says he supports raising the bond money for gun offenses. He says he hopes that would help change the gun culture in the city and lead to fewer shootings.

"If you say well if CPD catches me with this gun today, I have to pay $100 bond to get out. That’s easy. Now, if you’re saying I have to come up with $4-5k then that might make you think twice," Johnson said. "All I’m simply saying is that we have to do a better job of creating that mental culture of accountability where people will decide not to take the gun out with them."

So far this year, police have seized 5200 illegal guns which is on pace to surpass last year's numbers. Plus, robberies and burglaries dropped by double digit percentage points compared to the first half of last year — hitting 20-year lows.

Johnson says these numbers serve as a guide for where we want to be as a city and as a department.

A round table discussion was held Monday morning at CPD headquarters, where police discussed the latest numbers.

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