3-year-old boy, 12 others wounded in Chicago shooting

Fri Sep 20, 2013 14:24:40

A mass shooting at a Chicago park left a 3-year-old boy in critical condition and returned the spotlight to gun violence in the city with the nation's highest number of homicides.

The child was among 13 people shot in Cornell Square Park on the city's South Side late Thursday night. None of the other victims were listed in critical condition early Friday.

Chicago Fire Department officials reported Thursday night that the child is in critical condition. The gunmen haven’t been taken into custody yet.

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

A witness at the scene told the Chicago Tribune that three police officers carried the child to an ambulance.

"I didn't hear any sounds from the child,” the witness said. 

The aunt of the boy who was shot told local reporters that her brother was killed on Labor Day at the beginning of September in Chicago, too. It’s her second relative affected by gun violence this month.

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

A witness told the Chicago Sun-Times that dreadlocked men shot at him from a gray sedan before turning toward Cornell Square Park and firing at other people in the area.

The attack took place about 10:15 pm local time, and fire officials called an Emergency Medical Services Plan II, sending at least 10 ambulances to the scene.

About 60 police officers were also deployed. 

There were no immediate reports of fatalities, Chicago police officer Amina Greer told Reuters, and no one is currently in custody in connection with the shooting.

The territory where the shooting took place is cordoned off.

Chicago has been torn by gun violence in recent years, racking up more than 500 murders in 2012, according to a report this week by the FBI.

By comparison, New York City, which has a population three times the size of Chicago, recorded 419 murders in 2012, the FBI said.


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