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Chicago police report killings down, shootings up this year

July 1, 2021 GMT
Police work the scene of a shooting in the East Garfield Park neighborhood on Tuesday June 15, 2021 in Chicago. Police say five people standing outside on Chicago’s West Side were shot in a violent end to a day that began with a fatal mass shooting on the city’s South Side (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune via AP)
Police work the scene of a shooting in the East Garfield Park neighborhood on Tuesday June 15, 2021 in Chicago. Police say five people standing outside on Chicago’s West Side were shot in a violent end to a day that began with a fatal mass shooting on the city’s South Side (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune via AP)
Police work the scene of a shooting in the East Garfield Park neighborhood on Tuesday June 15, 2021 in Chicago. Police say five people standing outside on Chicago’s West Side were shot in a violent end to a day that began with a fatal mass shooting on the city’s South Side (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune via AP)

CHICAGO (AP) — Fewer killings were reported over the first six months of 2021 in Chicago compared with the same period last year even as the number of shootings and people shot increased, according to statistics released Thursday by police.

Between Jan. 1 and Wednesday, there were 332 killings in the city — six fewer than in the first six months of 2020. Both numbers are much higher than the 246 recorded over the first half of 2019.

Chicago has seen a number of mass shootings and mass killings in recent weeks. Coupled with others around the country in June, shootings stoked concerns about a spike in U.S. gun violence heading into the summer, as coronavirus restrictions ease and more people are free to socialize.

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Chicago ended 2020 with 769 slayings. So far this year, there have been 1,515 shooting incidents and 1,880 people shot in the city. Shootings incidents and victims over the first six months of 2020 totaled 1,377 and 1,656, respectively.

More than 5,900 guns, including 290 assault weapons, have been seized so far this year, police said.

“Each illegal gun taken off our streets is potentially a life saved,” Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said in a statement. “We’ve asked so much from our officers over the past six months, who continue to answer the call each day and night in service to our city.”

The latest numbers from police come as an 8-year-old girl and a 30-year-old woman were wounded and a 40-year-old woman was slain when shots were fired early Thursday at a home on the city’s far South Side.

Separately, two 15-year-olds and two 18-year-olds also were wounded Wednesday night during a drive-by shooting in southwest Chicago.