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Mayor: Chicago 'containing' violence

CHICAGO, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- The weekend deaths of two people in Chicago fueled debate about whether a crisis exists in the city, with the mayor saying violence was being contained.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday, said the city was "making efforts" to reduce gang conflict, rejecting the idea that the city was in a crisis.

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"[We're] containing it," Emanuel said in an interview from Charlotte, N.C., where he is attending the Democratic National Convention this week. "I'm going to do everything I can to make sure every child, when they're going to school, can think about their studies not their safety, regardless of where they live, and that's my first priority."

Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy have been working to control a 31 percent rise in Chicago homicides, the Chicago Tribune reported.

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"Overall crime is down 10 percent," Emanuel said from Charlotte.

In the latest round of violence, a gunman opened fire at a family party on Chicago's South Side, wounding four people, including an 11-year-old child, police said.

Police said the shooting Sunday night was about a block from the scene of a fatal shooting earlier in the day, but that it was too soon to tell whether the incidents were related, the Chicago Tribune said Monday.

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Earlier Sunday, a man was found dead in a car parked in a school parking lot, police said.

The Sunday night incident raised the Labor Day weekend violence in Chicago so far to two dead and 24 injured, WMAQ-TV, Chicago, said.

Emanuel insisted the city wasn't in crisis, despite 55 people being killed in August. NBC reported nine people died in 40 shootings reported during the last weekend in August.

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"We're making efforts I think to reduce the gang conflict, because it's gang-on-gang issues," Emanuel said on "Meet the Press." "It doesn't affect the whole city, but anywhere it happens we're going to be dealing with it."

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