Here we are talking about Shootings and Stabbings Increasing an Already Violent Year in Lake County. Violence in Lake County has increased over the past year, and it will soon be 2023. In major metropolis, one doesn’t need to read or hear about shooting victims. They are located in the third-largest county in the state. County officials have stated that there has been an increase in daily gun violence since 2017. The county’s top violent crime was the mass shooting that occurred during the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, which left seven people dead and numerous others injured. The five stabbing killings in Buffalo Grove last week make 2022 a very dangerous year.
The apparently targeted shootings of five individuals, including four young kids in high school, last weekend at a house in the 1800 block of Horeb Avenue in Zion are among the expanding list. Fortunately, their injuries did not pose a serious risk of death, otherwise, the county’s homicide total would increase.
This year, murders, mostly committed with firearms, have affected a number of Lake County municipalities, including Antioch, Beach Park, Fort Sheridan, Lindenhurst, North Chicago, Round Lake Beach, and Waukegan. The Lake County state’s attorney’s office reports that there are 46 murder suspects housed in the Lake County jail.
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In order to ensure that the 46 remain detained on January 1 when Illinois’ cash bail system ends, State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart filed detention petitions against them. One of the most important provisions of the SAFE-T Act, the comprehensive criminal justice reform law passed in January 2021, is the elimination of cash bail. One of them is Robert Crimo III, who is accused of 21 first-degree murders and three more first-degree murders for each slain paradegoer. A grand jury in Lake County indicted him on 117 different counts in the latter part of July.
35 people suspected of s*x crimes and 51 detainees accused of felony domestic assault are also detained at the county jail. As state lawmakers this week changed certain provisions of the SAFE-T Act to guarantee violent prisoners remain behind bars until their trials, Rinehart has moved to seek writs to keep them all locked up.
Until the sad annual report is compiled by the Lake County Coroner’s Office, we won’t know the total number of violent crimes this year. The office’s records from the previous year show that there were 35 homicides. 60% of the 2021 victims were shot, while 8.6% of them died from blunt force injuries. Twenty of the 38 victims of violent crime in 2020 were fatally shot.
According to coroner’s office records, drug overdoses and road fatalities outnumber homicide victims. Due to the lack of evidence of malicious intent and the unintended nature of the tragic event, they are regarded as accidental fatalities.
The cause of about 47% of accidental deaths in 2021 was found to be drug overdoses. Drownings made up 7.4%, while road accidents accounted for a little over 15%. The Gun Violence Prevention Initiative violence interrupter initiative is being launched by Rinehart’s office in an effort to stop the upsurge in armed conflict. The Coalition to Reduce Recidivism will oversee operations, and Waukegan Township will handle financial matters.
Work will be done primarily by three teams of violence interrupters in Waukegan, North Chicago, and Zion. The program may be beneficial. Marc Jones, the supervisor of Waukegan Township, is one of those who think it will work out, calling it “forward-thinking” to deal with the chronic causes of gun violence.
In a statement, he added, “As longtime residents of Lake County, we firmly feel this is a legacy-building opportunity, not only affecting those of us here now but creating and sustaining a viable and effective program for decades to come. Additionally, despite Illinois having off of the nation’s tightest gun prohibitions, authorities at the local, state, and federal levels are pushing for more of them. A three-part package to reduce gun violence is already in the works in the Illinois House.
The proposal calls for statewide restrictions on the sale of large-capacity magazines, military-style assault rifles (as Highland Park already does), and the restriction of gun purchases to adults over the age of 21. Gun rights advocates claim that the bill would violate the right to bear arms clause of the U.S. Constitution if it were passed and signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker. Hopefully, our efforts in the coming year will reduce gun violence in Lake County and throughout Illinois.
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