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Police cordon off an area where a possible murder suspect has fired shots at officers surrounding a South Side home where he is barricaded Thursday, May 12, 2016, in Chicago. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says officers returned fire but it was unclear if the man was hit. No officers were hurt. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

There have been over 700 murders in Chicago this year. And it's only December 1st.


Killings in Chicago have increased by 58 percent since last year, leading Chicago to record its 701st murder on Thursday, reports USA Today

The city is on pace to record the most murders in a year since 1997 which saw 761 killings occur. 

Chicago police have also reported over 3,300 shootings in this year, which represents a 49 percent increase when compared to the same time in 2015. 

Chicago's 701st murder was that of a 19-year-old man who was found dead on the street on Chicago's West Side with gunshot wounds in his head and chest. 

As of Thursday afternoon, no one has been arrested in the case. 

The increase in violence has been blamed on a combination of an increase in gang activity and gun laws that don't discourage convicted felons from carrying firearms. 

Gun violence advocates are also concerned about how the violence is affecting young people in the areas that see it the most, which is mostly low-income and predominately African-American. 

People like violence activist Andrew Holmes say that a dark edge is setting into the youth in these areas. 

“It’s more personal and about more than the easy access to guns,” Holmes said to USA Today. “This is driven so much by self-hatred and because there is an easy access to guns, the first thing they do is go to the gun to settle a feud."

The death toll has many on social media feeling the negativity. 

The new milestone has also sparked online discussions of gun control. 

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For more, check out the 60 Second Circa. 

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