DATA ANALYSIS: Higher percentage of fatal stabbing victims are women

By Emily Gray Brosious | Originally published at Homicide Watch Chicago | June 27, 2014

While nearly 82 percent of Chicago’s 610 homicides since the start of 2013 have been from shootings, 49 people have been stabbed to death.

During that time, the percentage of women stabbing victims was significantly higher than the percentage of women gunshot victims, according to Cook County medical examiner’s office data.

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 7.36.19 PMOf the 49 fatal stabbings, 16 were females. And while women made up nearly 33 percent of fatal stabbing victims, they made up only about 0.5 percent of shooting victims in the past 18 months.

In addition to being female, stabbing victims were older than people who were fatally shot. Since the beginning of 2013, the average age of stabbing victims were about 34, while the average age of shooting victims are about 27.

Overall, about 8.5 percent of all homicides in the city since the start of 2013 were stabbings — making it the second most common type of murder.

The percentage is consistent with the fatal stabbing rate over the past 10 years, which ranged from about 6.5% to 11.5%, according to Chicago Police’s annual murder reports and information from the medical examiner’s office. Stabbing data from 2012 was not immediately available.

While the Cook County medical examiner’s office ruled 49 Chicago deaths as homicides from stab or incised wounds, the Chicago Police Department has called some of those deaths self defense, and have not classified them as murders.

Of the cases police classified as murders, a much higher percentage of attackers are charged in stabbings compared to shootings.

The state’s attorney’s office charged suspects in nearly 70 percent of all stabbing cases since the start of 2013, authorities said. In 2013, police cleared about 30 percent of all murders, including the stabbings.

— Contributing: Michael Lansu

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‘Only a coward would do this to a woman,’ boyfriend says of Carnesha Fort murder

Homicide Watch Chicago

Carnesha Fort had the “heart of a lion”, her longtime boyfriend, Darnell “LA” Tubbs, said…….Fort, 22, was fatally shot at her home in the 100 block of North Keeler Avenue in the West Garfield Park community about 10:45 p.m. Friday, authorities said. —- Full story and video at Homicide Watch Chicago.

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Grandmother: Slain teen Ja-Quez Williams wanted to be cop

BY Jessica Koscielniak and Emily Gray Brosious | Originally published at Homicide Watch Chicago | June 4, 2014

Ja-Quez Williams wanted to become a police officer to stop the violence in his Austin community, his family said.

The violence Ja-Quez, 17, longed to stop took his life before he ever got that chance when he was fatally shot in the head in the 5500 block of West North Avenue about 2:05 a.m. April 26, authorities said.

“He was a beautiful, vibrant person — full of life,” said his grandmother, Inez Williams said. “It was a senseless thing, I really don’t understand. No children should be gunned down like cattle.”

Inez Williams raised her grandson from a young age, she said. The two shared a bedroom and prayed together at the end of the day.

Each night before drifting off to sleep he’d say, “Goodnight grandma,” Inez Williams said.

Prosecutors said Frederick Woods-Rivas, 23, walked up to a group standing outside and shot Ja-Quez in the back of the head. Judge Peggy Chiampas ordered Woods-Rivas held without bond.

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Ja-Quez, of the 5400 block of West North Avenue, died at the scene, according to Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Ja-Quez had gone out to get a submarine sandwich and was waiting for his uncle to pick him up when he was gunned down, his grandmother said.

Inez Williams said the neighborhood is infested with gang activity, but claims Ja-Quez was not a gang member.

She has been weary of the gun violence in her neighborhood, but never expected it to affect her directly.

“Older guys, the ones that run the area over there, tased him and threw him in a car and tried to make him and the younger boys do things,” Inez Williams said. “They tell them they won’t go to jail because they’re minors.”

Inez Williams said her grandson wasn’t a violent person and was afraid of the gang members who threatened him for trying to avoid the gang lifestyle.

“There’s just too much violence and kids shouldn’t have to live like that,” she said. “It’s so prevalent in the city.”

After the shooting, Mayor Rahm Emanuel called Inez Williams with condolences for the loss of her grandson, she said.

“I was surprised he called because I was feeling so hurt and I didn’t know really which way to turn,” she said. “He said when children are getting gunned down like that, we’ve got to do something together.”

Inez Williams hopes Emanuel can develop strategies to stop the violence.

Young people with guns need to understand the real impact of their actions and empathize with the pain they cause victims’ family and loved ones,” she said.