Chicago police reportedly linked a single stolen gun to at least 27 shootings before it was removed from the streets.
The handgun was stolen from a Wisconsin gun shop after a hooded thief smashed a glass showcase with a crowbar, the Chicago Tribune reported on Tuesday.
The robbery only took about 20 seconds, and the burglar took nine guns, including the Austrian-made Glock, from the federally licensed shop to an "underground gun market," the Tribune said.
Just over a month later, the gun, which had an extended magazine attached to increase firepower, was in Chicago.
Using bullet casings, Chicago Police Department firearms technicians connected it to 27 shootings over nearly 20 months. In those incidents, 24 people were shot, and two of those people suffered fatal injuries, the Tribune noted.
Chicago police West Side detective Cmdr. Richard Wiser told the Tribune that the gun represents "an extreme case" and that guns are typically involved in an average of two to five possible incidents.
The cost of such gun violence is not only felt by the families of victims but also by the city of Chicago. Just one gunshot injury can cost more than $1 million, the Tribune said.
With the exception of the cases where the victims died, no one has been charged for the shootings connected to the gun, the Tribune reported. It is currently stored in evidence at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago.