Chester marks its first slaying of 2012

Last week, my colleague and I wrote about how Philadelphia continues to have the highest murder rate of any of the nation's 10 most populous cities.

What we didn't write about is how Chester - Delaware County's only city - has a murder rate that is more than triple that of Philadelphia's.

Tonight, after preparing a short write up about Delaware County's first murder of the year which occurred this morning in Chester, I decided to crunch some numbers.

Chester is a city of about 33,972 people compared to Philly's population of 1,526,006. In 2011, Chester marked 23 murders while Philadelphia marked 326.

While Philadelphia clearly has a higher tally, when you compare the two cities' murder rates - which are figured per 100,000 residents - the numbers are staggering.

In Philadelphia, 21 people out of every 100,000 were killed last year, while in Chester, 67 people out of every 100,000 were killed last year.

Those are some sad stats for a city where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spent three years studying at seminary school.

And, unfortunately, just three days in to 2012, a fresh homicide tally for Chester has started all over again after a 19-year-old man was shot and killed there this morning, according to police.

Omar Draughn, 19, was found with a single gunshot wound to the head around 12:23 a.m. on 7th Street near Potter. He was initially taken to Crozer-Chester Medical Center in extremely critical condition but later died from his injuries, according to police.