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Chicago's 2012 homicide toll reaches 500

Chicago on Wednesday logged its 500th homicide of the year--the first time the city has reached that threshold since 2008, according to a RedEye analysis of preliminary police data.

A man was shot to death Wednesday in an alley east of California Avenue and south of 54th Street, the Tribune reported.

Chicago homicides are up 15 percent this year compared to the same period last year, according to RedEye data. Homicides were up 60 percent in March compared to 2011 but the rate has slowed since then.

Eighteen homicides have been logged so far this month; 37 homicides were logged in December 2011, RedEye data shows.

The number of homicides had been steadily decreasing since 2008, when 513 killings were recorded. Before 2008, the city had not surpassed 500 homicides since 2003, when more than 600 homicides were logged.

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