It appears that all of the shooting victims will survive the possibly gang-related attack that occurred in the Back of the Yards neighborhood in Chicago Thursday night.
Of the 13 people shot, there were 10 adults, two teenagers and a 3-year-old, who was the most seriously hurt—with a gunshot wound that hit him in the ear and exited through his mouth. Police said he was in critical condition at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Chicago police did not release many details of the shootings except to say it appeared to be gang-related, according to The Associated Press. It took place on a basketball court on the 51st Street side of Cornell Square Park.
A man who was at the scene said he didn’t hear any sounds coming from the 3-year-old when three police officers carried the child to an ambulance.
The boy was identified by family members as Deonta’ Howard, whose uncle was shot to death on Labor Day, Sept. 2. He was called “Tay Man” by family members.
“He didn’t like haircuts because he has a big head,” Porsche Chester, a cousin, told the AP. “But he is extremely smart. He didn’t have that (head) for nothing.”
The child’s uncle, Julian Harris, told the Chicago Sun-Times that he saw dreadlocked men in a gray sedan shoot at him, before turning toward nearby Cornell Square Park and opening fire. He said his nephew was shot in the cheek.
“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.”
Though Chicago officials contend that the wave of violence is abating, there were six people killed and 28 others wounded in shootings during one weekend at the end of August. After that shooting, one of the injured victims, a 7-year-old boy who was shot on his front step while bringing a bicycle inside, was afraid to go outside a week before the start of school.
At the start of school last month, Chicago officials delivered safe passage along routes to 90 city schools for students on opening day of the nation’s third largest school system. The schools were being closely watched after 50 were closed earlier this year, prompting fears that some students could be in danger by attending new schools in neighborhoods where they might encounter rival gangs.
While Chicago has been quick to point to the reduction in violence statistics—266 people were killed as of the end of August this year, a decrease of 26 percent from last year—the high-profile, shocking murders and shootings continue. Last month an 11-year-old girl was shot while sitting with her family on the porch of her Northwest-Side apartment building and a 14-year-old boy killed while standing with a group on the city’s West Side.
The 11-year-old, Cindy Leon, was sitting on her porch at around 4 a.m. when a shooter, who officials say might have been female, opened fire five times, hitting the girl in the back and side. Leon suffered “through-and-through” wounds and was taken to Lurie Children’s Hospital.
Next week, Rev. Gregory Tatum, a California pastor who grew up in the 1960s in the infamous and now-demolished Cabrini-Green housing project, is coming back to Chicago to lead a gang summit that he hopes will bring about lasting peace to the city’s troubled communities.
Tatum is holding his summit on the city’s Far South Side on Sept. 27th and 28th. Tatum has invited leaders Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton to join him at the summit, while Tio Hardiman, former director of CeaseFire Illinois, told the Chicago Sun-Times he would recruit hundreds of gang members to attend.
“Next year, we will go to Los Angeles, then Detroit,” Tatum said. “The whole goal this year is black on black crime in Chicago.”
The following were the victims in last night’s shooting in the park, according to Police News Affairs Officer Ron Gaines:
- The 3-year-old boy, shot in the ear, in critical condition at Mount Sinai;
- A 17-year-old girl, shot in the foot, condition stabilized at Holy Cross Hospital;
- A 15-year-old boy shot in the arm, stabilized at Holy Cross;
- A man, 27, shot in the leg and wrist, serious condition at Mount Sinai;
- A man, 24, shot twice in the stomach, serious condition at Mount Sinai;
- A man, 21, shot in the leg, serious condition at Mount Sinai;
- A man, 41, shot in the buttocks, serious condition at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital;
- A woman, 33, shot in the shoulder, condition stabilized at Northwestern Memorial Hospital;
- A man, 31, shot in the buttocks, condition stabilized at Northwestern;
- A woman, 23, shot in the foot, condition stabilized at St. Anthony Hospital;
- A man, 37, shot in the leg, in good condition at Stroger;
- A man, 25, shot in the knee, in good condition at Northwestern;
- And a man, 33, who drove himself to Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park with a gunshot wound to the leg and who was treated and released.