Tags: park | shooting | 13 | wounded | chicago

Park Shooting Leaves 13 Wounded in Chicago; Boy, 3, Critical

Friday, 20 Sep 2013 07:03 AM

By Alexandra Ward

Two gunmen opened fire at a park in Chicago's South Side Thursday night, shooting 13 people, including a 3-year-old boy who's in critical condition.

Bullets started to fly around 10:15 p.m. in what police are calling a gang-related shooting, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. A dreadlocked gunman in a gray sedan reportedly fired at a 3-year-old boy and then continued to shoot into Cornell Square Park, where a group was gathered at the basketball courts, witnesses told numerous media outlets.

"They hit the light pole next to me but I ducked down and ran into the house," Julian Harris, the 3-year-old victim's uncle, told the Sun-Times. "They've been coming round here looking for people to shoot every night — just gang-banging stuff. It's what they do."

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The child was shot in the face and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition, family members said.

Two other victims were also in critical condition, according to USA Today.

No arrests have yet been made, police said.

Neighbors said they thought an increased neighborhood watch presence was making the area safer, not more dangerous.

"We were surprised. People are watching the community," 70-year-old Francis John, who's lived there for 30 years, told the Sun-Times. "I thought [the shootings] were over. But despite this incident, it's not as bad as it used to be."

Chicago found itself atop the list of cities with the highest murder rate this week, when it was announced that the Windy City had surpassed New York City in homicides for the year 2012, according to FBI crime statistics. According to the data, Chicago experienced 500 homicides last year, up from 431 in 2011.

The park shooting comes just a few weeks after an outburst of violence on Labor Day weekend claimed eight lives and saw 20 others injured.

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Related stories:

Police: 6 People Dead in Weekend Chicago Shootings

Chicago 6-Month-Old Shot, Dies, Father in Serious Condition

Chicago Sees 23 Shootings in One Weekend  

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