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Chicago Records 500th Homicide of 2012

<span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25px; ">A man gunned down Thursday on Chicago's west side marked what police say is the city's 500th homicide of the year.</span>

A man gunned down Thursday on Chicago's west side marked what police say is the city's 500th homicide of the year. It's a dubious distinction that hasn't occurred since 2008, when the city ended the year with 512 murders.

Police are releasing few details about the shooting that happened around 9 p.m. in the 4900 block of West Augusta. The man was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he died.

At a peace dinner held Thursday, residents came together to talk about ways to end violence. Alderman Anthony Beale, who is running for Jesse Jackson Jr.'s old 2nd Congressional District seat, said Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy needs to change strategies.

"His philosophy is not working," Beale said. "We need to put resources where the problems are, and then you will see crime drop across the city."

Chicago surpassed 2011's 435 murder total in October

Police said Chicago's 499th homicide victim was a man who died after he was shot at least four times - including in the face and chest - in a Gage Park neighborhood alley Wednesday night on the Southwest Side.

Frederico Martinez, of the 5400 block of South California Avenue, died from gunshot wounds he suffered near his home, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.

Police said the 32-year-old Martinez was standing with a female in an alleyway down the block from his home when a light-colored pick-up truck approached and somebody inside opened fire.

Martinez was shot in the face, chest and both arms and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he died, authorities said.

Behind the troubling statistics, flashing lights and crime tape, communities throughout the city are searching for solutions.

"There's no magic spell that can end it. It's a matter of people and neighborhoods coming together and deciding that it's not going to happen," said neighbor Robert Grider.

Larry Pickens, who is running in the special election in the 2nd Congressional seat, offered a few suggestions Thursday: "Teaching our young people alternative dispute resolution, non-violent strategies for addressing conflict and getting guns off the street."

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