Chicago boasts lowest first-quarter murder rate since 1958

Police collect evidence at the scene of a shooting on June 23, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. A man was wounded in the leg when someone fired at least 11 rounds at a group of people having an outdoor party in the Morgan Park neighborhood. There have been at least 29 homicides in Chicago during the first three weeks of June. More than 165 people have been shot and wounded in the city during the same period. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Police collect evidence at the scene of a shooting on June 23, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. A man was wounded in the leg when someone fired at least 11 rounds at a group of people having an outdoor party in the Morgan Park neighborhood. There have been at least 29 homicides in Chicago during the first three weeks of June. More than 165 people have been shot and wounded in the city during the same period. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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Are things finally turning around in Chicago?

For the last few years the Windy City has been saddled with the unfortunate label of “murder capital,” with the number of homicides hitting the 500 mark in 2012.

However, there have been encouraging signs of a drop in gun violence in the last twelve months or so. And according to the Chicago Sun-Times, this year’s first quarter had the lowest murder rate since 1958.

“This is now the sixth consecutive quarter that we’ve had significant reductions of murder and violence in the city,” Chicago’s Police Supt. Garry McCarthy told ABC Chicago. “We’re pleased, but of course we have a lot of work to do.”

And even if the murder rate has dropped, there have already been over 50 killings in the first three months of 2014.

Just this past weekend as many as 13 people were wounded in Chicago shootings in largely African-American areas in the South and West side of the city.

“You don’t reduce the murder rate in Lincoln Park the way that you do in Roseland,” McCarthy said. “Roseland is where we’re seeing great gains, but sometimes people don’t feel that. When the murder rate goes down from ten to eight, do you feel 20 percent better? No. We understand it.”

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