13 people shot in park in Chicago's South Side

11:22 AM, Sep 20, 2013   |    comments
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Chicago Police detectives investigate the scene where a number of people, including a 3-year-old child, were shot in a city park on the south side of Chicago Sept. 19, 2013.

 


 


CHICAGO (CBSNews.com) - Thirteen people have been shot at a park on Chicago's southwest side, including a 3-year-old boy who was in critical condition, in what authorities say was likely a gang-related shooting.

The first wave of violence broke out after 6 p.m. Thursday with four people being wounded by gunfire, CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds reports from Chicago. The second wave after 10 p.m. required more than 60 police officers and 10 ambulances to respond.

As bullets began to fly, the group scattered, taking cover wherever they could at Cornell Square Park, police and witnesses told CBS Chicago station WBBM-TV.

A witness, Julian Harris, told the Chicago Sun-Times that dreadlocked men fired at him from a gray sedan before turning toward Cornell Square Park in Chicago's Back of the Yards neighborhood and firing at people. He said his 3-year-old nephew was wounded in the cheek.

Harris identified the boy to WBBM-TV as Deonta Howard. Investigators told WBBM-TV Deonta was shot in the cheek and that he was at the park with his mother

"They hit the light pole next to me, but I ducked down and ran into the house," Harris said. "They've been coming round here looking for people to shoot every night, just gang-banging stuff. It's what they do."

The boy's grandmother told WBBM-TV that Deonta's uncle was one of eight people murdered in the city over Labor Day weekend.

Chicago Fire Department officials said the child was in critical condition. Officials at Mt. Sinai hospital said Friday that the boy was a patient there, but could not provide an update on his condition. Two other victims were also in critical condition. The others were reported in serious to fair condition.

Officer Amina Greer told The Associated Press early Friday that police have since identified a 13th victim, a 33-year-old woman with a gunshot wound to the back near one shoulder. Other victims included a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old. She added that no arrests have been made and she had no further information to give out at the time.

"It's an ongoing investigation," Greer added.

This latest outbreak of violence comes on the heels of an FBI report released just this week branding Chicago as the murder capital of America with 500 murders recorded in 2012. That's even more than New York City, which has three times the population of Chicago.

The shooting comes nearly three weeks after Chicago saw an outburst of violence over the Labor Day weekend that ended with eight dead and 20 others injured. The city's Police Department has responded to shootings that have grabbed national headlines by stepping up its crime-fighting efforts, paying overtime to add patrols to some neighborhoods, including the Back of the Yards, where Thursday's shooting took place.

One victim transported himself to a hospital, police said.

Police spokesman Ron Gaines said victims were being interviewed to determine the circumstances of the shooting. He said no one had been taken into custody.

Francis John, 70, said she was in her apartment when the shooting occurred. She said she went down to see what was going on and "a lot of youngsters were running scared." A 30-year resident, she said she was surprised by what had happened.

She told the Sun-Times there hasn't been much gun violence in the neighborhood in recent years, adding the neighborhood went from good to bad 10 years ago, to better recently.

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