Chicago Woman Killed by Stray Bullet, Suspect Charged With Murder: Police

May 7, 2019 Updated: May 7, 2019

Police said a Chicago man faces murder charges after allegedly firing a stray bullet that killed a mother in front of her two children.

Candice Dickerson, 36, was in a cellphone store with her two kids on Chicago’s South Side on April 26 when she was struck by a bullet.

Chicago police cited by Fox32 said while Dickerson was inside the store shopping for a phone, 23-year-old Bryant Mitchell and another unidentified individual allegedly fired guns outside.

A bullet hit the mother-of-three in the face.

shooting victim
Candice Dickerson, 36, died in hospital after a stray bullet struck her in the face in Chicago on April 26, 2019. (Facebook)

Dickerson was taken to hospital, where she later died of her injuries.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that an ambulance was also struck by gunfire around the time of Dickerson’s shooting.

Mitchell was identified as the gunman and was arrested on May 4, according to the report. He faces charges of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted first-degree murder.

A Norwegian American Hospital Foundation benevolent fund has been set up for the slain woman “to honor Candice’s memory and help with the family’s immediate needs and the health, welfare, and educational needs of her children.”

“Candice Dickerson, a committed and beloved Norwegian American Hospital pharmacy tech and single mother, was shot and killed by a stray bullet Friday evening while buying a cellphone for one of her sons,” the notice on the funding page reads. “She leaves behind three sons—ages 17, 12, and 10. Her two youngest were with her at the time of the shooting.

Shootings In Chicago

According to an earlier Epoch Times report, authorities in Chicago said that the city’s murder rate declined in 2018. Last year’s drop marks the second year in a row in which fewer people were killed in the Windy City than in the year before.

Chicago, infamously dubbed the nation’s “murder capital,” saw nearly 100 fewer murders in 2018 compared to 2017—a 15 percent drop, according to data from the Chicago Police Department’s end-of-year crime summary. Murders as a result of a shooting have declined 31 percent in total in Chicago since 2016.

This double-digit reduction was the greatest drop in homicides of any major American city, outpacing New York (0.37 percent drop), Los Angeles (9.2 percent drop), and Houston (6.64 percent drop), according to the data published Dec. 31.

Crime in the United States

Violent crime in the United States has fallen sharply over the past 25 years, according to both the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).

The rate of violent crimes fell by 49 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the FBI’s UCR, which only reflects crimes reported to the police.

The violent crime rate dropped by 74 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to BJS’s CVS, which takes into account both crimes that have been reported to the police and those that have not.

“From 1993 to 2017, the rate of violent victimization declined 74 percent, from 79.8 to 20.6 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older,” the U.S. Department of Justice stated (pdf).

Both studies are based on data up to and including 2017, the most recent year for which complete figures are available.

The FBI recently released preliminary data for 2018. According to the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, from January to June 2018, violent crime rates in the United States dropped by 4.3 percent compared to the same six-month period in 2017.

crime rates
Rates of violent crime in the United States in 1993 compared with 2017, according to data from the FBI (L) and BJS (R). (The Epoch Times)

While the overall rate of violent crime has seen a steady downward drop since its peak in the 1990s, there have been several upticks that bucked the trend.

Between 2014 and 2016, the murder rate increased by more than 20 percent, to 5.4 per 100,000 residents, from 4.4, according to an analysis of FBI data. The last two-year period that the rate soared so quickly was between 1966 and 1968.

Property Crime

The property crime rate fell by 50 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the FBI, and by 69 percent according to BJS.

According to the FBI’s preliminary figures for the first half of 2018, property crime rates in the United States dropped by 7.2 percent compared to the same six-month period in 2017.

As with violent crime, the FBI survey only takes into account crime reported to the police, while the BJS figures include reported and nonreported crime.

Public Perception About Crime

Despite falling long-term trends in both violent crime and property crime, opinion surveys repeatedly show Americans believe that crime is up.

The vast majority of Gallup polls taken since 1993 show (pdf) that over 60 percent of Americans believe there is more crime in the United States on a national scale compared to the previous year.

Pew Research surveys show similar findings. A survey in late 2016 revealed that 57 percent of registered voters said crime in the nation as a whole increased since 2008, despite both FBI and BJS data showing double-digit drops in violent and property crimes.

Perceptions differed on a national versus local level.

Surveys of perceptions of crime levels on a local scale showed that fewer than 50 percent of respondents in every single Gallup survey (pdf) done since 1996 believed that crime in their area had risen compared to the previous year.

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