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Sadly, Chicago has reached its 500th homicide with the fatal shooting of 40-year-old Nathaniel T. Jackson, who was shot in the head on Thursday evening while standing outside of a store in the city’s West Side Austin neighborhood. Jackson’s death marked a grim milestone for Chicago, as the city hasn’t reached 500 homicides since 2008, which ended with 513 homicides. Prior to 2008, the city hadn’t seen the homicide rate in the 500′s since 2004.
According to the Chicago Tribune, homicides were up 17 percent over last year in Chicago, and shootings had increased by 11 percent, according to police statistics. A large portion of the spike in homicides took place in the early part of the year, when the city experienced abnormal warmth. In the first three months of the year, homicides ran about 60 percent ahead of the 2011 rate.