News

4 charged in Chicago shooting that wounded 13

4 charged in Chicago shooting that wounded 13

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy speaks at a news conference in Chicago, Ill. Photo: Reuters/REUTERS/Jim Young

By Mary Wisniewski

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Gang members sprayed bullets into a Chicago city park last week – injuring a three-year-old boy and 12 other people – after one of them had been grazed by a bullet hours earlier, police said on Tuesday.

The four men, who are being held without bond on charges of attempted murder, were not aiming at anyone in particular, but believed the park was controlled by a rival gang, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said.

“There wasn’t an intended individual…,” McCarthy said.

One of the men, Tabari Young, 22, who has been arrested more than a dozen times, used a military-grade weapon in the shooting, police said.

The man who had been wounded earlier, Bryon Champ, 21, also fired into the crowded park. Champ, a convicted felon, should not have been armed and on the streets, McCarthy said.

“When Mr. Champ was shot, he believed the rival gang controlled the territory of Cornell Park…they went to shoot up the park,” McCarthy said.

Police said Kewane Gatewood, 20, supplied the military-grade weapon and Brad Jett, 22, served as a lookout.

Last Thursday’s shooting drew national attention just days after a gunman killed 12 people in an attack at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.

McCarthy and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel have struggled to contain street crime from gang wars in the poor, mostly African-American and Hispanic neighborhoods of the nation’s third largest city.

Emanuel called for a three-year minimum prison sentence for illegally carrying a gun on the city’s streets. “One of the shooters should have been behind bars rather than in Cornell Park,” the mayor said in a statement.

Champ had been convicted of unlawful use of a weapon in July 2012 and sentenced to boot camp, an alternative to prison, at a Cook County facility.

“He received boot camp for that gun crime and was back on the streets to be a part of this senseless shooting. That is unacceptable,” said McCarthy.

The four men are charged on three counts of attempted murder, aggravated battery with a firearm, police said, adding additional charges were expected.

The shooting took place in the Back of the Yards neighborhood in a park where residents were enjoying a basketball game on a warm evening.

Among those wounded was three-year-old Deonta Howard, who was shot in the head. Howard has undergone surgery and is expected to recover.

Gun violence in Chicago led to more than 500 murders in 2012, according to a report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. New York City, with three times Chicago’s population, had 419 murders in 2012, the FBI said.

The number of homicides in the city so far this year has subsided, down 21 percent, according to the police department.

Chicago this year loosened one gun rule, abolishing its registry of gun owners after its gun control law was ruled unconstitutional by the courts. Illinois this year approved the concealed carrying of guns.

Recent Headlines

in National

Manufacturing, construction data point to sturdy U.S. growth

An overall view of the assembly line where the BMW X4 is made at the BMW manufacturing plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina March 28, 2014.

U.S. manufacturing activity hit a nearly 3-1/2-year high last month, a sign the economy entered the third quarter on strong footing.

in Lifestyle

Pistachios may help reduce diabetes risk

Pistachios are seen after sorting at a processing factory in Rafsanjan, 1,000 kilometers southeast of Tehran September 23, 2008.

For people who may be headed for type 2 diabetes, regularly eating pistachios might help turn the tide.

in Lifestyle

Triathlons popular with middle-aged athletes

Runners and bikers compete in the 34th annual Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon in San Francisco, California June 1, 2014.

Triathlons, the swim-bike-run races of varying lengths, are scaling the bucket lists of many middle-aged athletes.

in Sports

Indianapolis Colts owner pleads guilty to intoxicated driving

James Irsay, owner of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, is pictured in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters March 17, 2014.

Billionaire James Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts, was arrested in March after failing roadside field-sobriety tests.

in Sports

Phillies’ Cole Hamels, bullpen combine for no-hitter

Sep 1, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels (35) throws the ball against the Atlanta Braves in the second inning at Turner Field.

Cole Hamels set up a combined no-hitter for the Philadelphia Phillies as they beat the Atlanta Braves 7-0 at Turner Field in Atlanta.