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City’s top cop says number of shootings down, but ‘we have to do better’

Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy (pictured August 2012)  |   Brian Jackson~Sun-Times

Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy (pictured in August 2012) | Brian Jackson~Sun-Times

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Updated: February 1, 2013 5:30PM

Although the city suffered through another deadly weekend, Chicago’s top cop said the week still saw fewer shootings than the previous year.

There were seven murders from gunshots and other causes from 6 p.m. Friday until 12:01 a.m. Monday , according to the police department. Altogether, the city saw 10 shootings during that period, including victims who were wounded but did not die.

“That’s just not the way those numbers usually play out,” Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Tuesday, adding that as of Friday afternoon the murder rate had been down nearly 30 percent for the month when compared to last year. He said there had been 13 fewer shootings last week compared to the same week in 2012.

But the number of murders for the week compared to last year remained about the same.

“Unfortunately that’s the way it goes sometimes ... more people die percentage-wise from the shootings,” he told reporters at a news conference in which he spoke of a White House meeting where he and other officials discussed gun policy.

“By reducing the shootings you expect to reduce the murders,” he added, saying the number of deaths was “frustrating.”

On Tuesday, the number of murders kept rising.

Three people had been murdered Tuesday, and eight others had been wounded by gunfire, police said.

Among the dead was 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton who was shot in the back in the Kenwood neighborhood about 2:30 p.m. A teen boy was also shot in the leg during the attack, which happened near King College Prep High School.

Earlier in the day, Devin Common, 27, was shot dead, and two other men were critically wounded in a Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood shooting, family and police said. He is the second son his mother has lost to gun violence, she said. Over the weekend, another mother lost her last-living son to a shooting. Her three other children had also been murdered with a gun.

And early Tuesday, Gino Angotti, 20, was found dead on the East Side with a gunshot wound to the head.

Of the continuing murders, McCarthy said,“I’m not pleased with it, but the fact is we’re going to continue to refine our strategies.”

He said the shock of murders doesn’t mean the department’s strategy to curb violence isn’t working.

“You don’t throw out everything you’re doing because you had a bad couple of days, which is what happened here,” he said.

McCarthy added the department is going to roll out new strategies soon because some officers will be freed from desk duties, though he offered no other details.

In the end, he said, “We have to do better”

Contributing: Sun-Times MediaEditor’s note: The story has been updated to reflect that Chicago Police data indicates that shootings were down in the week in question over the same time last year, despite the perception of worsening crime, rather than reporting Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy directly made that conclusion.

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