Editor’s Note & Glossary

Editor’s note on how the data is counted and displayed:

  • All Murders are Homicides, but not all Homicides are Murders. We counts homicides, whereas the CPD counts murders.
  • Homicides are applied towards the day and time of the incident, NOT the time of death.
  • For example: Someone shot on July 4th, 2013 but passed on July 4th, 2014, will count towards July 2013’s tally, not 2014’s.

  • Gun related homicides do not count towards shot and wounded metric.
  • Police shootings and justifiable homicides do count towards each metric. The CPD does not count either towards their totals.
  • Suicides and attempted suicides are not counted.
  • Accidental, negligent or self-inflicted gunshot wounds (aka #Selfie) are counted.
  • Some reckless homicides may be included depending on circumstances. Involuntary manslaughter committed by use of a motor vehicle or drunk driving fatalities are not included in the stats.
  • For geographic stats, we use Community Areas, not neighborhoods as determined by the Chicago Tribune’s Boundaries App. For our own mapping and reporting purposes, we’ve combined West Englewood and Englewood into just ‘Englewood’ and East and West Garfield Park into just ‘Garfield Park’.
  • The age, race and gender of the shooter or murderer is only know when said individual is apprehended by the police.
  • Shooting data is notoriously incomplete. In cases of multiple gun shot wounds, the most critical of the wounds in displayed on the graphic.
  • Homicide and shooting totals are usually updated multiple times a day; some charts and tables are updated daily, where others are updated weekly.
  • Other violent crime data, if used, is typically delayed at least a week due to CPD reporting policy.
  • The total Shot and Wounded data point was adjusted upwards from 870 to 938 on 7/8/13 to reflect the Chicago Tribune’s latest figures. We didn’t start tracking daily shooting data until mid-March 2013 and we were light a combined 68 for the first 2.5 month of 2013.

The Chicago Police Department’s definitions for violent and property related criminal acts are as follows:

  • Homicide: The killing of one human being by another.
  • Involuntary Manslaughter: The killing of another person through negligence.
  • Criminal Sexual Assault: Any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will or not forcibly or against the person’s will in instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent.
  • Robbery: The taking or attempting to take anything of value under confrontational circumstances from the control, custody, or care of another person by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear of immediate harm.
  • Aggravated Assault: An unlawful attack by one person upon another wherein the offender displays a weapon in a threatening manner. Placing someone in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.
  • Aggravated Battery: An unlawful attack by one person upon another wherein the offender uses a weapon or the victim suffers obvious severe or aggravated bodily injury involving apparent broken bones, loss of teeth, possible internal injury, severe laceration, or loss of consciousness.
  • Burglary: The unlawful entry into a building or other structure with the intent to commit a felony or a theft.
  • Larceny: The unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another person.
  • Simple Assault: An unlawful physical attack by one person upon another where neither the offender displays a weapon, nor the victim suffers obvious severe or aggravated bodily injury involving apparent broken bones, loss of teeth, possible internal injury, severe laceration, or loss of consciousness.
  • Simple Battery: A person commits battery if he intentionally or knowingly without legal justification and by any means, (1) causes bodily harm to an individual or (2) makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with an individual.
  • Weapons Violation: The violation of laws or ordinances prohibiting the manufacture, sale, purchase, transportation, possession, concealment, or use of firearms, cutting instruments, explosives, incendiary devices, or other deadly weapons.

Additional crime definitions can be found on the CPD web site.