CHICAGO (AP) — This year continues to shape up as deadlier in Chicago than last year as the first three months of 2021 ended with more homicides and shooting victims than were recorded during the same period of 2020, according to police department statistics released Thursday.

Department statistics confirm what residents have known for a while: That trend that began in 2020 when homicides and shootings spiked dramatically is gaining speed during the first quarter of 2021.

In March, there were 42 homicides compared to 28 in March 2020, bringing the 2021 total to 131 compared to 98 during the same three-month period last year. And after a year in which the city did not see it’s 500th shooting victim until April, 706 people have already been shot.

There is, however, some encouraging news. After the department added 40 officers and four supervisors to a carjacking task force, there were 33% fewer carjackings in the first four weeks of March than there were in all of February.

And, the department reports that when other major crimes such as theft, assault, and robbery are added to the mix, the number of major crimes fell 27% compared to the same three-month period last year.

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