CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 31: The Rev. Jesse Jackson (L) and Rev. Michael Pfleger carry crosses as they march with other residents, activists, and family members of victims of gun violence down Michigan Avenue to draw attention to the city's rising murder rate on December 31, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. Nearly 800 people have been murdered in the city this year and more than 4000 shot as the city copes with its most violent year in two decades. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Scott Olson Getty Images
By The Associated Press
January 1, 2017

One of the bloodiest years on record in Chicago ended with 762 homicides and more than 3,500 shooting incidents.

Police released crime statistics on Sunday that reveal rampant gun violence. Not only were nearly 300 more homicides and more than 1,000 more shooting incidents than there were in 2015, but the total number of homicides was the highest since 1997.

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The statistics also show that the bulk of the homicides were in five of the city’s poorest neighborhoods on the South and West sides, where violent street gangs are most active.

The police department has long lamented the flood of illegal guns into the city. Sunday’s statistics show that the 8,300 illegal guns recovered in 2016 represents a 20% increase from the year before.

This article was originally published on TIME.com

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