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Chicago Ties Last Year’s Homicide Total

Chicago’s violent year hit a deadly milestone on Monday when the city saw its 435th homicide — surpassing last year’s murder count. And it’s still only October.

The 436th homicide victim of the year was a man in his 30s. He was shot at 10:34 a.m. Monday in the 7900 block of South Escanaba. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he died later that day, police said.

The city’s homicide count grabbed international attention when it spiked during an unusually warm spring.

President Barack Obama has talked about the violence in his adopted hometown, including in an MTV interview on Friday.

“I live on the South Side of Chicago,” said Obama. “Some of these murders are happening just a few blocks from where I live. I have friends whose family members have been killed.”

“What I know is that gun violence is part of the issue,” he said. “But part of the issue also is kids who feel so little hope and think their prospects for the future are so small that their attitude is, ‘I’m going to end up in jail or dead.’ And they will take all kinds of risks.

“If they’ve got mental health issues, are they getting the kind of services and counseling that they need early on?” he said.

“Are we making those investments in those young people so that by the time they’re 11, 12, 13, 15 … they can make responsible choices because they feel they’ve got something at stake?”

While the city had reported there were 433 homicides in 2011, a police official on Sunday said the number of homicides last year has been updated to 435 after two deaths were reclassified.

There were six fatal shootings in Chicago from Friday night through Sunday. At least 14 others were wounded by gunfire.

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