7 killed in Chicago Wednesday as the murder rate continues to outpace last year

A pregnant woman was among seven people killed Wednesday in Chicago, five of them murdered in a two hour window.

The city recorded its 99th homicide by Wednesday evening, just 53 days into 2017, according to the Chicago Tribune. Six of the victims were killed on the city’s South Side, and the seventh on the West Side. Wednesday’s single day tally was the largest since Christmas day, when eight people were killed.

As in years past, the majority of the shooting deaths are happening in the Harrison police district, the Austin district and the Ogden district on the West Side. On the South Side, it’s the Englewood district and the Calumet district.

Wednesday’s homicides prompted another tweet from President Donald Trump, asking “What is going on there” and reiterating a common refrain, that “Chicago needs help!”

The city’s seen some of that help. Just days into his administration, Trump said he’d “send in the Feds.” By early February, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms sent 20 more agents to “beef up” the federal presence in Chicago, which previously had about 40 agents.

“We first heard about this on CNN,” a City Hall source told the Chicago Sun Times, talking about the additional agents.

Last week, Mayor Rahm Emanuel met with Attorney General Jeff Sessions to talk about ways the federal government can help Chicago police combat the violence.

“If you’re talking about federal help, this is what we mean by federal help: From law enforcement cooperation and participation to investing in kids to prosecuting gun crimes to economic development in our neighborhoods,” Emanuel said after the meeting.

Last year, 762 people were killed in Chicago — the deadliest year since the mid 1990’s. Wednesday’s 99th homicide came two days earlier than in 2016.

“When the Mayor was briefed by police leadership this morning his first question to them was, ‘How do we drive the progress we’re seeing in two of our historically more violent neighborhoods, which have seen declines in recent weeks, into those that are seeing increases this year?’” Emanuel spokesman Matt McGrath told the Sun Times.