AURORA, Ill. — Illinois' second-largest city finished 2012 without a single homicide.The Beacon-News reports that Aurora was homicide-free last year for the first time since 1946.The last killing reported in the western Chicago suburb was on Dec. 21, 2011.
It's been a bloody year in the nation's third-largest city. A spike in murders and shootings — much of it gang-related — shocked Chicagoans, spurred new crime-fighting strategies and left indelible images.
The last time the city reached the 500-homicide mark was in 2008, when the year ended with 512 killings. Last year, city records show Chicago had 435 homicides.On Thursday, officials with the Chicago Police Department said the city was one homicide away from the 500 mark.
Last weekend was a bloody one: More than 50 shootings were reported, nearly 20 percent of those were fatal. Summer after summer, Chicagoans are consumed by violence and a seemingly exponential murder rate.
The recent disappearance of freshman Toni Keller in the rural college campus of Northern Illinois University has created considerable anxiety for her parents, fellow students and school officials. Despite some high profile crimes, university campuses are thought to be relatively safe havens.