Illinois' second-largest city finished 2012 without a single homicide. Aurora was homicide-free last year for the first time since 1946. The last killing reported in the western Chicago suburb was on December 21, 2011. That's when a 21-year-old woman died in a domestic violence attack. Aurora has struggled with gang violence in the past. The city's homicides peaked with 26 in 1995 and 1996. As recently as 2007, the city averaged more than one homicide per month. By 2011, Aurora logged only two homicides for the year. Aurora Police Chief Greg Thomas calls the turnaround "amazing," and says the city went through a lot to reduce violence. Aurora has about 200,000 residents, according to the 2010 census.
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