Anthony Hardmon, consoled by his son, Anthony Hardmon Jr., mourns at a funeral service for his daughter Ashley Hardmon. Ashley was standing with a group of young people in North Austin when two men approached and opened fire, police said. One of the bullets struck Hardmon in the head, killing her.

Anthony Hardmon, consoled by his son, Anthony Hardmon Jr., mourns at a funeral service for his daughter Ashley Hardmon. Ashley was standing with a group of young people in North Austin when two men approached and opened fire, police said. One of the bullets struck Hardmon in the head, killing her. (Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune / July 10, 2013)

More than 1,200 people were wounded or killed by gunfire in Chicago this year so far. This is a statistical improvement for the city of Chicago.

But for the families losing someone to violence, individuals count, not the numbers.

After the tragedy of Hadiya Pendleton’s shooting in Jan. 2013, Chicago Tribune photographers set out to capture what life is like for residents of besieged neighborhoods and for families in the aftermath of violent death.   

As the summer winds its way to fall, we find our photographers documenting the juxtaposition of crowded lakefront festivals against images of neighborhoods where children cannot play outside for fear of being shot. We are telling a tale of two cities.

Online you’ll find a special photography report called “Chicago Under the Gun” at chicagotribune.com/gun. The page contains photo galleries, videos, links to Tribune crime apps and overnight accounts of crimes. A 9-minute introductory video contains powerful visuals and raw expressions of emotion as well as some historic context about what’s happening in our city.

Every shooting is different; every victim a story. Only the crime-scene tape stays the same.

-- Robin Daughtridge, Associate Managing Editor / Photography and Video