Sat, Sep 21, 2013 - Page 7 News List

Child among 13 injured in Chicago park shooting

‘GANG-BANGING STUFF’:A witness said a man in a gray sedan shot at a light pole next to him and wounded his three-year-old nephew in the cheek

AP, CHICAGO

Thirteen people, including a three-year-old boy, were injured late on Thursday when someone opened fire on people in a park in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood.

Chicago Fire Department officials said the child was in critical condition.

Two other victims were also in critical condition, officials said.

Officer Amina Greer said the shooting occurred shortly after 10pm on Thursday.

According to Greer, at least 10 ambulances responded to the scene, transporting victims to several area hospitals.

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 and firing at people in the area.

He said his three-year-old nephew was wounded in the cheek.

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

Authorities said no one had been taken into custody in connection with the shooting.

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.

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.”

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

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