Monday marked the first day of 2019 without any reported gun violence in the crime-plagued city of Chicago.
But that doesn't mean no one was shot: At least two people suffered self-inflicted gunshot wounds, police said. A 38-year-old man accidentally shot himself while cleaning a handgun and a 15-year-old discharged his firearm during a weapons check, according to a report.
On Sunday, there were at least three people wounded in shootings across the city. None of them was killed, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Police have said most killings in Chicago are tied to street gangs, with members vying for control of territory or simply retaliating for perceived slights by gang rivals, which these days are typically communicated through social media.
While homicide numbers dropped in many districts in Chicago in 2018, they went up in several neighborhoods on the city’s South and West Sides. Those areas have been plagued for years by gun and gang-related violence, including Englewood and West Garfield Park.
According to preliminary numbers, homicides in Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city, fell by about 100 in 2018, compared to 2017 — though the total again eclipsed the number of homicides in Los Angeles and New York City combined.
Although the decrease in 2018 was significant, the number of killings in Chicago was higher than the combined total in New York City and Los Angeles -- for at least the third straight year.
Police in Chicago reported 561 homicides were committed between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2018. That compared to 660 homicides in 2017 and more than 770 in 2016, which marked a 19-year high that put a national spotlight on Chicago’s persistently high rates of gun violence.
President Trump often has singled out Chicago’s high homicide rate, tweeting in 2017: “If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible ‘carnage’ ... I will send in the Feds!” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has accused Trump of oversimplifying the problem and potential solutions.
Fox News’ Frank Miles and the Associated Press contributed to this report.