From the Chicago Tribune:
Chicago has begun the year with the most murders since 2002, according to data compiled by the Tribune and the Chicago Police Department.
With the fatal beating of a student Thursday on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology, the city has seen at least 47 violent deaths so far this month, data show. Two of those deaths — teens shot to death while robbing a liquor store — are not being classified as murders because the shooting was considered justified by police.
That so far brings the official total of deaths this year classified as murders by the department to 45, matching the total for all of January in 2002. Monthly breakdowns of violent crime in the city are readily available only to 2001.
With three days left in the month, including a weekend of mild weather, the number of murders may rise well above 45.