Andrew Papachristos, an associate professor of sociology at Yale, analyzed police and gun homicide
recordsfrom 2006 to 2011 for people living in a high-crime neighborhood in Chicago. He found that 41 percent of all gun homicides occurred within a network of less than 4 percent of the neighborhood's population, and that the closer one is connected to a homicide victim, the greater that person's chances were for becoming a victim. Each social tie removed from a homicide victim decreased a person's odds of becoming a victim by 57 percent.
"What the findings essentially tell you is that the people who are most at risk of becoming a victim are sort of surrounded by victims within a few handshakes," Papachristos says. "These are young men who are actively engaged in the behaviors that got them in this network."...
Overall, the community's five-year homicide rate was 39.7 per 100,000 people, which was still much higher than the averages of other areas of Chicago (14.7 per 100,000). But being a part of that network of co-offenders, essentially just being arrested, raised the rate to by nearly 50 percent, to 55.2 per 100,000. What's more, being in a network with a homicide victim increased the homicide rate by 900 percent, to 554.1 per 100,000.This is not terribly surprising. Most urban murders are gang-related. Living in gang-dominated neighborhoods is still quite dangerous, but the less association you have with gang members, the safer you are.