By JEFF MAYES
Homicide Watch Chicago
At least 14 people were killed last week as Chicago passed the 400-homicide mark for the year nearly a week ahead of last year’s pace, when the homicides numbers were the highest in two decades. The victims included a mother shot while walking with her young son, and a man stabbed to death in a luxury apartment, a crime which has sparked a nationwide manhunt.
When Kennatay K. Leavell was shot to death early Friday near the former Cabrini-Green public housing projects on the Near North Side, it was the city’s 400th homicide of the year.
But before the day was over, two more homicides had been reported that happened earlier, and by Aug. 1, the date when the 400th homicide of 2016 was reported, there had been at least 410 this year, according to Sun-Times data.
Add in five people shot dead by on-duty Chicago Police officers; the deaths of 10 people ruled homicides due to wounds suffered in years past; four people charged with reckless homicide over motor vehicle-involved fatalities; and a man charged with murder in a case where autopsy results are still pending, and the number grows even higher.
Of those killings, about 380 have been with guns, the data shows. Fifteen people were stabbed to death, nine were abused or assaulted, two were strangled, three were intentionally hit by vehicles, and one was forced to ingest bleach.
The total included a woman killed in a shooting that also injured her 4-year-old son and a man Friday evening in the West Side Austin neighborhood. The shooting happened at 5:19 p.m. in the 5200 block of West Kamerling, police said. Nikia Betts, 28, was walking down an alley with her son and the man when shots rang out, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. She was shot in the head and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where she died at 5:54 p.m., according to police and the medical examiner’s office. The boy and 19-year-old man were both shot in the arm, police said. They were taken to Stroger Hospital in good condition.