There were more homicides in Chicago this past year than Los Angeles and New York City combined. The 762 homicides represent the largest spike in 60 years in the Windy City. Homicide in Chicago will account for almost 5% of murders in 2016, despite Chicago accounting for only 0.8% of the total population. That’s a murder rate on par with South Africa and Brazil.

The trend doesn’t figure to change in 2017. Over the New Year’s weekend five were killed and at least 30 wounded in shootings across Chicago.

Police blame the flood of illegal guns into the city and say they recovered 8,300 weapons in 2016 alone. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says that criminals in the city are firing weapons without fear of consequence like no other time in recent history.

“In Chicago, we just don’t have a deterrent to pick up a gun,” Johnson said. “Any time a guy stealing a loaf of bread spends more time pre-trial in jail than a gun offender, something is wrong.”

There have been nearly 6,000 deaths and shooting incidents in Chicago in the last 24 months, most of which occurred in five police districts located on the South and West side where poverty stricken residents are heavily influenced by gang activity. Most of the violence involves gangs killing each another in acts of ongoing revenge.

HeyJackass is a phenomenal resource for Chicago shooting related data. They report a person was shot every 2 hours in the city last year. There were likely more than 762 homicides in Chicago in 2016 as well.

While the 800 homicide gorilla awaits entry into 2016’s frunchroom, the fact is we’ll most likely exceed the 800 level soon after the New Year due to late passings and reclassified death investigations. Happy New Year!

The source officially lists Chicago’s 2016 homicide total at 795.