By Tracy Connor, Staff Writer, NBC News
Murders fall 42 percent in America's deadliest city: Chicago
Three months after Chicago notched the most murders in the nation, officials are touting a dramatic downturn in crime.
In the first quarter of the year, murders dropped 42 percent over the same period last year and shootings were down 27 percent -- reductions that authorities say were fueled by anti-gang initiatives.
"These numbers are progress but they are by no means victory," Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said in a statement.
The nation's third-largest city ended 2012 with the most slayings: 506. Then came the shooting death of innocent teenager Hadiya Pendleton, who had just performed with her school marching band during President Obama's inauguration weekend activities. She was killed during the deadliest January that Chicago had seen in a decade.
But March, in particular, brought good news for the city and its beleaguered police force: murders down 69 percent, with 36 fewer people slain than in March 2012.
There were still horrific headlines out of Chicago last month, though, such as 6-month-old Jonylah Watkins being gunned down in what police said was a gang-related shooting aimed at her father.
Ther can be a couple of different takes on this. One, those that are dying and those that have been arrested are the cause of most of the murders. Not everyone can be an innocent victim. Two, it took how many murders, how many additional shooting that resulted in woundings before the citry even acknowledged the problem and did something about it? Third, why does it always take more black deaths to occur before those in power-mostly democrats, to do something about the issue, whereas when white children get shot at a school, they get on the bandwagon the same day? And fourth, maybe it hasn't been the actions of the administration or police officials, maybe those involved just ran out of targets.