From top left, clockwise: murder victim Nykea Aldridge, the site of an arson fire that killed four in South Chicago, the site of a fatal shooting in South Loop and murder victim Arshell Dennis III.View Full Caption
CHICAGO — With one more day to go, August 2016 will end as the city's most violent month since October of 1996.
Through Tuesday morning, 85 people had been murdered in Chicago in August. Last August, 50 people were murdered, data from the Chicago Police Department and Illinois State Police shows.
That brings the murder count in Chicago to 478 for the year so far. That's more than the combined total in Los Angeles and New York City, which have seen a total of 393 murders. Those cities' combined populations are more than four times that of Chicago.
If the pace continues for the rest of the year, 2016 would mark the first time this century that Chicago's murders have exceeded the combined number in the country's two largest cities.
Shootings are also up considerably this year compared with recent years. Compared with last August, shootings are up 35 percent and the number of people shot are 28 percent up.
For the year as a whole, the number of shootings are 49 percent higher than last year.
Chicago's violence is a focus of this year's presidential race, with Republican nominee Donald Trump routinely bringing up the city's violence in an effort to paint himself as a "law and order" candidate.
Last week, the nation's attention once again turned to Chicago when Nykea Aldridge, a mother of four, was killed while pushing a stroller in Woodlawn.