One man was stabbed to death, three gunned down, and another 41 shot over the last four days in Chicago as cold weather turned mild over the weekend.
Despite the chill in the air on Thursday and Friday, 21 people were shot and three died before the weekend was even in full swing.
Thursday, March 31, was particularly bloody for a single say, as 16 shootings were racked up from which three died in just the one day. All three shooting deaths were perpetrated by sneak attackers who ran up, fired, and fled.
By Friday evening, another victim was added to the death toll when a shop owner was found stabbed to death in the usually quiet Old Irving Park community.
Petro Rymar of Bart’s Coins & Collectibles was discovered murdered in his shop on Friday evening in a crime Albany District police said was not gang related and may have been a brutal robbery. After he allegedly murdered the shop owner, police say the robber discovered that the doors were locked and needed an electronic release button pushed to open them. Police say he used a stool to smash the store’s windows to make his escape.
The normally quiet neighborhood experienced a second attack on Friday after an argument broke out in a local tavern. A man inside a building was hit by a bullet fired from outside.
As the weather began to warm, a slew of shootings occurred during the next two days, but no more citizens perished from the attacks, police say. Despite the lack of homicides, another 20 people were hit with gunfire as the chill on Saturday gave way to a balmy spring-like Sunday.
The end of March and beginning of April seems to show that the city’s violence is not going to wane any time soon.
March ended with 48 homicides and 283 wounded for a total of 329 total shootings. But only three days into April, the city has already seen 28 shot and one killed.
Chicago’s plague of shootings is likely on track to make 2016 one of the bloodiest in decades.
According to DNAInfo.com the first three months of 2016 saw more shootings than the first three months of any year in over a decade. With 817 shot so far this year, that is about 89 percent higher than the 433 shootings March ended with in 2015. And this year’s numbers are a whopping 176 percent higher than the numbers seen by March in 2014.
But Chicago isn’t necessarily alone. A recent report in the Washington Post found the number of homicides in the country’s 50 largest cities is up 17 percent, the greatest increase in 25 years. The rates are higher over 2015, which itself was a hike over 2014.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston, or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.