Chicago -- With the first day of the New Year barely in the books, the city of Chicago racks up three fresh new homicides. It's a continuation of the violence in the city which saw over 500 murder victims in 2012. Up from the total of 435 in 2011.
The victims for the most part fit a familiar profile. They are almost always minority (African American or Hispanic) and they usually are young or very young. At times the victims are 18 or younger and a majority are gang related.
The city's first victim of the new year was only 20 years old. He was shot in the throat on the city's west side. Authorities believe that the incident happened early Tuesday morning.
Another young victim was only 29 years of age, was shot in the head New Years Day afternoon on the city's south side. Another, this time only 19 years of age was gunned down in an apparent drive-by shooting on the city's south west side.
Those three men were victims on a night in which there were 15 reported incidents of shootings. An all too familiar pattern that does not bode well for the new year, especially following a year in which the city seemed to struggled at times to maintain peace through-out the year.
Although the statistics suggest that murders overall are down. Statistics can't bring back a lost son or daughter caught in the crossfire. Often times innocent by-standers who are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Devastating the victims friends and families.
The victims are being gunned down by those who seemingly have lost all regard and respect for the lives of others, as well as themselves. Destoying the city's communities one by one. As well as traumatizing the families of children who must commute to and from basic day to day activities such as school or the playground. Even a simple walk to the super market can end in tragedy.
Monday family menbers of some of those victims gathered together to voice their concerns about the on-going violence at St. Sabina Church.http://www.saintsabina.org The church is the home of noted community activist and advocate Father Michael Pfleger. " The pain is like your life has actually stopped." Said parent Mary Long, at the press conference regarding losing her son early last year.
It's a sad reality for the city of "Big Shoulders." Chicago police chief Garry McCarthy, who is expecting a bump in foot patrols due to the graduation of new recruits from the police academy remains optimistic. " It's a work in progress. It hasn't shown a lot of success yet." He stated at a recent press conference.
As of the date of publication of this article. The city of Chicago has seen more homicides (5), than it has days (3) in the new year 2013.