Chicago’s homicide tally topped 500 since the start of the year following a deadly Labor Day weekend during which 13 people were killed in the nation’s third-largest city.
The death toll crossed the threshold on Tuesday morning, according to The Chicago Tribune, with 31 people shot within a 21-hour period, nine of them fatally.
Chicago recorded 92 murders in August, the most the city has seen in a single month since the early 1990s, when gang and drug-related violence was rampant.
The city looks set to exceed 600 homicides by the end of 2016, an annual tally it hasn’t reached since 2003. The murder rate is already up 50% this year, and Chicago has recorded more homicides than New York and Los Angeles combined.
USA Today reports that Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson attributed the rising death toll to gangs and weak gun laws, calling for “tougher penalties.”