BY MICHAEL LANSU
Homicide Watch Chicago Editor
Chicago had the exact same number of murders in the first five months of 2014 as it did through the same period last year, police said.
Forty-two people were murdered in the city in May, raising the total number of killings to 137 — the same as in 2013 and a 34 percent decrease from the 207 slayings through the unusually violent first five months of 2012, police said.
The Cook County medical examiner’s office, which counts murders different, has ruled 155 Chicago deaths in 2014 a homicide — including seven people killed by officers. Police have ruled the other homicides as involuntary manslaughter, justified self-defense or accidents.
“We continue to build on our comprehensive violence reduction strategy, putting more officers on the street in summer months, proactively intervening in gang conflicts, and partnering with community leaders, and our officers are supported by the city’s strengthened investments in prevention programs for at-risk youth,” Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said in a statement.
Of the 42 May murders, 37 were males and five were females. Thirty-six of the murders were shootings and two were stabbings. The other four were beating, child abuse, strangulation and intentionally striking a person with a vehicle.
The youngest murder victim last month was 3-year-old Ashley Mendoza and the oldest was 58-year-old Betty Howard. Three of the victims were over the age of 50 — Charles D. Short, 51, Rickey Hayes, 55 and Howard.
The Austin community had the most murders last month with six. The Chatham community recorded five.
Despite the city recording the same number of murders as last year, the 840 people shot in the first five months of the year is an 11 percent increase from the 754 people shot during the same time last year, police said. There were 1,031 people shot through May 2012.