- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 12, 2016

More than 100 people have been shot in Chicago since the start of 2016 as law enforcement blames the latest surge in violent crime on “chronic gang conflicts.”

Statistics maintained by the Chicago Tribune suggest that the city has already seen 119 shooting victims from Jan. 1-11, including at least 19 deaths.

Seven of the fatal shootings occurred last weekend, including one at a party held only four blocks from Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s home, the Tribune reported.

With at least 119 people having been shot since the first of the year, 2016 is already on track to shatter last year’s tally of 2,986 shooting victims, or an average of eight per day.

Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for the Chicago Police Department, told the Tribune that gang violence was the reason behind the latest rash in violent crime.

“Every year Chicago Police recover more illegal guns than officers in any other city, and as more and more illegal guns continue to find their way into our neighborhoods it is clear we need stronger state and federal gun laws,” he said in a statement. “So far this year, the majority of the gun violence we’ve seen are a result of chronic gang conflicts driven in part by social media commentary and petty disputes among rival factions. Despite an overall lack of cooperation from gang members, detectives are working aggressively and making optimistic progress in several cases.”

Then-Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said in September that law enforcement officials had recovered more than 5,419 illegal guns in the first nine months of 2015 and had made 2,242 gun-related arrests in the same span.

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