With an almost 17 percent increase in shootings in New York City and a homicide rate of 30 percent increase in Chicago compared to 2011, both Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Mayor Rahm Emanuel are working diligently to cease fire.

Among those caught in the cross fire have been children. In Chicago, a 7-year-old girl was shot selling candy, and in New York City a three-year-old was grazed in the leg in a Brooklyn playground.

In light of these statistics, the new study suggests stray bullets often injure women and children. Approximately 44.8 percent of stray bullet victims were female. Garen Wintemute, a professor of emergency medicine and director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at UC Davis School of Medicine and Medical center, analyzed mortality rates along with aspects of stray-bullet shootings in a one-year period.

With the help of GunPolicy.org, Google and Yahoo news alerts, Wintemute and his team tracked stories published between March 2008 and February 2009 with the keywords “stay bullet.” Researchers examined 289 stray-bullet shooting occurrences and of those shootings, 317 people were either killed or injured. Nearly 81 percent of victims were unaware of the proceedings leading to gunfire and 65 of the people who were pronounced dead, either died on the scene or shortly after the same day.

The reasons for the stray bullets are as follows: 59.2 percent occurred because of violent conflicts, 7.4 percent occurred because of hunting and other shooting sports and unknown activities accounted for 22.9 percent. According to the study, celebratory gunfire related to holidays only accounted for five percent of stray bullet occurrences.

Wintemute hopes the results of this study will raise awareness of stray-bullet shootings nationwide and lead cities implementing preventive measures, such as “hot-spot policing,” which consist of creating stricter firearm laws in areas with high level of gun violence.

As for Mayor Emanuel and Chicago police chief Garry McCarthy, they’ll be adding more beat cops in dangerous areas targeting abandoned buildings. Mayor Bloomberg, who is often criticized for NYPD stop-and-frisk told NY magazine, “We are doing every single thing to keep you and your kids safe.”