August 2016 was Chicago’s deadliest month in nearly two decades, leaving the city’s streets riddled with shell casings and bloodshed from mostly African-American bodies.
According to the Chicago Police Department’s crime statistics, an astonishing 474 people were victims of homicide in 2016. In August alone, there were 92 deaths, a number slightly lower than July 1993 when 99 people were killed, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The gun violence has not engulfed the entire Chicago metropolitan area and is concentrated within five police districts on the South and West sides, where an increasing number of innocent bystanders are being caught in the crossfire in gun battles between rival gangs.
Dwyane Wade’s cousin, Nykea Aldridge was killed in one of the most high-profile shootings in recent weeks. Her tragic death has become political fodder for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who was accused of trying to use the tragedy for political gain.
Children are also being caught in the crosshairs violence. In the first half of 2016, 15 children under the age of 10 were wounded in gunfire.
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told the Tribune that officers are working to stem the violence, seizing 6,000 illegal guns so far this year.
“And I’ll tell you this, it’s frustrating for them to arrest a guy on Friday for an illegal gun and then next Thursday they see this guy right back out on the street with another illegal gun,” he told the Tribune.