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Chicago -

It was another bloody night in Chicago with 19 people wounded in eight shootings, police said Friday.

Chicago police have been struggling to contain an outbreak of violence that has seen the murder rate spike 27 percent to 328 people as of August 12.

The number of shootings is up eight percent to a staggering 1,512 incidents as of the last police report.

The vast majority of the shootings have been on the city's troubled south and west sides, although a handful of violent incidents have rattled Chicago's tony downtown core.

Thursday's shootings began at 5:20 pm, when four men were wounded in a shooting in the Little Village neighborhood on the west side.

The bulk of the bloodshed occurred in the early evening when 13 people were shot in 30 minutes in three separate incidents.

The worst was a drive-by shooting at 9:15 pm that injured eight people, most of the teenaged boys.

“It looks like officers were in the area when they heard the gunshots and came upon the scene,” Chicago police public affairs officer Jose Estrade told AFP.

“Right now there's nobody in custody Ä it's an ongoing investigation.”

Police were called to a public housing complex near the University of Chicago ten minutes later after two men, aged 27 and 33, were shot there.

Two others were shot a couple miles away in a drive-by shooting in the Brighton Park neighborhood at pretty much the same time.

Another man was shot in the leg on the far south side at about 9:45 pm. He told police he was talking on the phone when he heard a shot and realized he'd been hit.

A 17-year-old boy was shot in the back while walking in the troubled Englewood neighborhood around midnight after someone inside a passing car opened fire.

Another 17-year-old was hurt at 1:30 a.m. Friday after someone walked up to him and started shooting on the west side. - Sapa-AFP