More than 1,000 people have been murdered in Cook County this year, the most since 1994

With a month left in the year, Cook County has logged more than 1,000 homicides for the first time in 27 years.

As of Tuesday midday, the medical examiner’s office had recorded 1,009 murders — 100 more than this time last year.

The youngest person killed was a 1-month-old boy, the oldest an 84-year-old man. More than half the people murdered were under the age of 30.

Black people made up 81 percent of homicide victims and Latinos made up nearly 15 percent, the medical examiner’s office said.

The most homicides on record for any year in Cook County was 1,229 in 1991, according to the office. The last time the county passed 1,000 murders was in 1994 with 1,141. Last year, the toll was 986, and the year before that it was 675.

More than three-quarters of the homicides this year — 777 — have been in Chicago, where murders and shootings are both above all of last year, according to city data. Like the county, the city has not seen such levels of gun violence since the early and mid-1990s.

At least 4,105 people have been shot in Chicago this year, 8.1% more than last year and 69% more than in 2019.

All of the suburban homicides this year were to the south and west, with Harvey recording 30, nearly twice as many as the next highest suburb, Maywood, with 16.

Using the latest 2020 census data, Harvey’s homicide rate is almost five times higher than Chicago’s, with 14.8 murders for every 10,000 residents compared to Chicago’s 2.8. Maywood has a homicide rate of seven per 10,000.

Harvey Mayor Christopher Clark blamed the high number of homicides on problems within the police department.

“That’s why we have made major structural changes in the police department,” Clark said, “including putting more officers on patrol instead of behind desks, launching a nationwide search to bring in fresh leadership, equipping our officers with additional training, tasers and body cams.

“We are all sickened by the number of homicides that have happened in Harvey this year,” he said. “Our community deserves much better.”

In the other suburbs, Dolton recorded 11 homicides, Calumet City eight, South Holland eight, Berwyn seven, Chicago Heights seven, Cicero six and Markham six.


As the Lake County State’s Attorney, I am honored and humbled every day to lead the fight against crime, and to strive to ensure equal and just treatment under the law. I have been an attorney for twenty-two years – and each of those years has made me a stronger and smarter advocate for people, for ideas, and for the principles that unite us all.

I am so proud to lead an office of 140 dedicated colleagues who serve the public by prosecuting crime, advocating for victims, and planning crime prevention programs. I am also proud to work with hundreds of Lake County police officers on a daily basis to connect with every community and to develop comprehensive, holistic plans to respond to the mental health and economic crisis that arose from the COVID-19 pandemic.

On one particular day, July 4, 2022, I was saddened, inspired, and motivated by the bravery of so many people. We will always stand with the victims and honor the police and other first responders who ran toward the danger. Just as so many heroes that day thought only of themselves, I also witnessed the prosecutors in my office answer the call to serve survivors and their community – even on one of its darkest days.

Every moment that I have been your legal representative, I have worked tirelessly to oversee prosecutions and to implement policies that make my family and my neighbors safer in the short term and in the long term. That is the job of the State’s Attorney: to prosecute, to innovate, and to strategically plan.

I was raised in a small town. My parents are teachers, and from them, I learned that everyone must be treated equally and that America’s sacred mission is to provide a political, economic, and legal system that allows anyone to prosper regardless of the circumstances of their birth. After graduating from Knox College and the University of Chicago Law School, I spent two years at a first-rate civil law firm in Chicago where I learned that hard work and attention to detail on every case mean the difference between success and failure.

With my wonderful wife Stephanie, I am raising my two sons, Sam and Teddy, in Lake County. Nothing is more important to me than my family’s safety and I bring that passion and determination to protect all families with me to work every day.

I joined the Lake County Public Defender’s Office in 2003 and started my own law firm in 2009. From 2003 until 2020, I watched the Lake County legal system fail to prioritize violent crime, prevent wrongful prosecutions, or address racial disparities.

So, in 2019, I decided to run for State’s Attorney so that I could serve our community by improving a local legal system that cared more about covering up its mistakes and biases than uncovering new and innovative ways to help people.

I won the 2020 election, and became the first Democrat to hold this position in 40 years. Bringing in a new party wasn’t as important as ending 40 years of one mindset that had forgotten the people and that had failed to act urgently to develop new strategic plans to prevent crime while also ensuring that each prosecution is smart, moral, and just.

We have followed through on our promises. We have built the first-ever violent crimes unit, increased prosecutors in our domestic violence division, and vastly upgraded our cyber lab. Now, we have top-notch software and personnel to finally keep up with those who would exploit others.

We have been awarded a large federal grant to bring the first ever Human Trafficking Task Force to Lake County. We have deepened our investment in people by bringing in more victim specialists and raising the salaries of many of our prosecutors.

But the work goes on. We must expand our prevention efforts that are starting with the Gun Violence Prevention Initiative launched in 2022. And we know that the opioid crisis touches thousands of lives throughout this country.

I am proud to serve on the Executive Board of the Lake County Opioid Initiative which has been working tirelessly since its founding in 2012 to reverse a devastating trend of increased overdoses. In 2022, our office was part of a national settlement against opioid manufacturers and distributors.

As an attorney of 22 years, I have committed my life to helping people, and I have conducted over 70 jury trials in Lake County, and handled appeals that have culminated in over 20 oral arguments before the appellate court and Supreme Court of Illinois.

I see my time in this office as the next phase of helping a community that I love and where I have chosen to raise my family. In my first term, we have made Lake County safer and fairer through just prosecutions, constitutional policing, and innovative crime prevention policies.