Cook County medical examiner's office passes 1,000th homicide for 2021
The Cook County medical examiner's office on Tuesday confirmed the county's 1,000th homicide this year occurred over the Thanksgiving weekend.
The county's homicide total as of Tuesday stands at 1,009, more than 75% of which occurred in Chicago, the medical examiner reports.
That reflects an increase from the 986 homicides reported in 2020, which marked a more than 40% increase from 2019's total of 675.
The last time Cook County saw more than 1,000 homicides was in 1994, when it recorded 1,141, according to the report. In 1991, the medical examiner's office handled a record 1,229 homicides.
Of those 1,009 homicides so far this year, 23 occurred in the following Cook County municipalities: Des Plaines, Elgin, Glenview, Hanover Park, Hoffman Estates, Inverness, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Roselle, Schaumburg and Wheeling, as well as in "incident cities" including the Lake and DuPage municipalities of Aurora, Bloomingdale, Mundelein, Naperville, Oakbrook Terrace and Round Lake. Regarding the inclusion of cities outside of Cook County, medical examiner spokeswoman Natalia Derevyanny explained the office "investigates any death that occurs in Cook County which falls under its jurisdiction."
Des Plaines and Elgin reported three homicides each, while Palatine and Schaumburg reported two each. The other municipalities listed reported one homicide each during 2021, per the medical examiner's database.
Of those 23 homicides, 14 were firearm-related, three resulted from blunt-force trauma, two from sharp-force trauma, one was drug-related, one resulted from inhalation from a house fire, one from strangulation and one from multiple injuries related to an assault, according to the database.
The office confirmed 777, or 77%, of homicides reported thus far took place in Chicago with less than 23% occurring in the suburbs or northwest Indiana. Suburban municipalities reporting the most homicides include: Harvey with 30, Maywood with 16, Dolton with 11, Calumet City and South Holland with eight each, Berwyn and Chicago Heights with seven each, and Cicero and Markham with six each.
So far this year, Blacks made up 81% of Cook County homicide deaths, while Latino victims accounted for just under 15% of the deaths. Of the homicide deaths this year, 88% of the victims were male.