Every Other Hour

In Chicago, who picks up a gun and why?

The rate of shootings in Chicago is hard to get your brain around. But think of it this way: Last year Chicago had a shooting about every other hour, and that rate continued through much of 2017. The relentless violence has ended hundreds of lives and damaged thousands more. It’s changing the life of the city.

About this project

In 2017, WBEZ dug for answers to two core questions about Chicago’s gun violence.

  • In Chicago, who picks up a gun, and why?
  • What will it take to roll back the violence?

Every Other Hour’s team of reporters, producers and editors has talked with hundreds of people across the city, and beyond its borders. We’ve sought out the voices and perspectives of people most affected by the violence — from young shooters and victims, to law enforcement, to neighbors taking to the street to find solutions.

We’ve interviewed experts and city leaders, and investigated institutional issues to build a better understanding of the complex web of causes of gun violence and its effects.

And we’ve asked people who live in communities most affected by shootings what they wish was better understood by the public. They tell us to remember that everyday life gets lived in these neighborhoods. They tell us Chicago must correct generations of neglect. That all communities must have strong schools, safe streets and jobs. And they are looking for a sense of civic and personal urgency on a scale with the crisis.


Lead Editor: Cate Cahan
Digital Editors: Michael Lansu, Hunter Clauss, Tricia Bobeda
Digital Producers: Paula Friedrich, Chris Hagan
Production Assistant: Margaret Sivit
Contributing Editors: Ben Calhoun, Kate Grossman, Alex Keefe, Robert Wildeboer
Audio Producers: Colin McNulty, Joe DeCeault