NYC Expects 2012 to Have Fewest Murders on Record - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

NYC Expects 2012 to Have Fewest Murders on Record

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The number of New York City murders is expected to hit a record low this year, and shootings are at their lowest point in at least 18 years.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly credited police efforts as they announced the statistics Friday.

So far, there have been 414 homicides citywide this year. That's the fewest since reliable record-keeping for homicides began in 1963. The previous low was 471, in 2009.

There have been 1,353 shootings this year. Comparable records for shootings go back to 1994. The prior low was 1,420 in 2009.

Bloomberg often calls New York the safest big city in America.

The description is based on FBI statistics for seven major crimes. New York has the lowest rate per 100,000 residents among the 25 most populous U.S. cities.

Meanwhile, Chicago has logged its 500th homicide of 2012. 

The last time the city reached the 500-homicide mark was in 2008, when the year ended with 512 killings. Last year, city records show Chicago had 435 homicides.

On Thursday, officials with the Chicago Police Department said the city was one homicide away from the 500 mark. Hours later, a 40-year-old man was fatally shot in the Austin neighborhood on the city's West Side. Police say Nathaniel Jackson was found on the sidewalk outside a convenience store with a gunshot wound to the head late Thursday.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office says Jackson was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital early Friday.

Jackson's death remains under investigation. No arrests have been made.  (AP)

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