CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago saw its deadliest month in two decades in August, recording 90 homicides for the month, the city's police department said Thursday.
The last time the city recorded 90 killings in a month was August 1996, according to Chicago Police Department data. Last month, there were a total of 384 shooting incidents and 472 shooting victims, police said.
Chicago is on pace to have more than 700 homicides by the end of the year. The city hasn't had more than 600 homicides in a year since 2003, and not more than 700 since 1998, according to records.
Ninety miles north of Chicago, police in Milwaukee said that city, which was roiled by violence recently after the police shooting of a black man, had its deadliest month for homicides in 25 years.Milwaukee had 24 homicides in August, the highest total since July 1991.
The police department says the city's per capita rate was higher than Chicago's in August.
Chicago Police blamed the increase in violence on repeat offenders using illegal guns.
"The historical cycle of violence we have seen in some communities must come to an end," Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in a statement. "Repeat gun offenders who drive the violence on our streets should not be there in the first place, and it is time to change the laws to ensure these violent offenders are held accountable for their crimes."
The 90 homicides for this August compared to 54 killed in the same month last year. Police said they made 18 percent more murder arrests this past month compared to August 2015. The department's number of gun arrests this year is up 5 percent compared to the same time during 2015.
The department said five districts on the city's South and West sides account for the majority of the violence.