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Two more charged in Chicago park drive-by shootings

11:40 PM, Sep 24, 2013   |    comments
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(USA TODAY) Two more suspects -- included the alleged triggerman -- have been charged in the mass, drive-by shooting at a Chicago park last week that wounded 13 people, including a 3-year-old boy who was shot in the face, the Chicago Tribune reports.

That brings to four the number of people charged in the incident.

The Tribune, quoting unidentified authorities, said Tabari Young and Brad Jett, both 22, were charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm.

They were arrested Sunday night in an abandoned building three blocks from Cornell Square Park, scene of Thursday night's shooting in Chicago's southwest side, the newspaper said.

Young "was identified as the person who shot 3-year-old Deonta Howard and 12 other victims," according to the arrest report. Jett "was identified as of the individuals who participated in the shooting," the report said. Howard is recovering from surgery after being shot near an ear.

On Monday, Bryon Champ, 21, and Kewane Gatewood, 20, were charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm in the shooting.

The assailants fired more than a dozen rounds from an assault-style rifle, police have said. They believe the shooting was gang-related, as several gang members were injured, although the intended target is not yet clear.

The newspaper quoted Young's mother as calling her son a "good boy." She told the newspaper that Young's brother was shot and killed by Chicago police in June 2008 in a South Side neighborhood and that his father died last year after an illness.

"It's just that he gets caught up ... because there's no work," she told the Tribune from her home in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.

Champ was convicted in July 2012 on charges of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and sentenced to Cook County Jail's boot camp. He is documented gang member, according to authorities.

"To truly address violence for the long-term we need state and federal laws that keep illegal guns out of our communities and provide real punishment for the criminals who use them," Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said Monday night.

He said the shooting highlighted a need for a three-year mandatory minimum sentence for illegal gun possession and truth in sentencing for gun crimes in Illinois.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel rode along with police officers late Sunday in particularly violent city neighborhoods. Emanuel has made curbing violence a high priority, allowing the Police Department to spend millions of dollars in overtime to saturate high-crime areas with hundreds of additional officers.

Through Sept. 15, police say, they've recorded 306 murders and 1,402 shooting incidents this year. That's down 20 and 22%, respectively, from the same period in 2012. Police say overall violent crime is down about 15%, according to new figures released Monday.

Contributing: Associated Press

Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY

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