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As 2012 comes to a close, Chicago has reached a terrible milestone: 500 homicides in the city for the entire year.

Nathaniel T. Jackson was killed Thursday (Dec. 27), becoming the 500th person to die in the city.

The victim was gunned down on Chicago’s west side  at around 9p.m. Jackson was standing outside of a store when someone walked up and shot him in the head. He was taken to Stroger Hospital where he died.

“He was a lot of fun, very good at imitating people,” his cousin Gaves Bates told the Chicago Tribune. “He just had so much fun all the time. And we all grew up together in the same house.”

Bates said that Jackson, 40, was staying with a friend of the family after getting out of prison in August. “The last time he was out, someone had shot him several times in the back,” she added. “He was a fighter, he was a survivor.”

Residents held a “peace dinner” Thursday to discuss ideas to bring an end to the violence, with Alderman Anthony Beale placing the blame on Police Superintend Garry McCarty. “His philosophy is not working. We need to put resources where the problems are, and then you will see crime drop across the city.”

While community leaders have pledged to try and curb the violence, Chicago was unable to break itself of such a pattern. The last time the city surpassed 500 homicides was in 2008, when the number was at 512.

Photo: USA Today