Four men now charged in Chicago shooting that hurt 13

CHICAGO Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:08pm EDT

1 of 5. Combination photo of (L-R) Tabari Young, Brad Jett, Bryon Champ, and Kewane Gatewood in undated booking photos released by the Chicago Police Department. The four men have been charged with attempted murder, including one suspected of firing a military-style weapon into a crowd, in a shooting last week that wounded 13 people including a 3-year-old boy, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said on Tuesday.

Credit: Reuters/Chicago Police Department/Handout via Reuters

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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.

(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski; Writing by Carey Gillam; Editing by Greg McCune, Jim Marshall and Leslie Gevirtz)

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Comments (14)
a military-grade weapon

Sep 24, 2013 2:27am EDT  --  Report as abuse
youradufus wrote:
Now I think in Chicago, after this change in the laws, many residents are out right now purchasing firearms to protect themselves. ( which they were not legally able to do before ). In the future as statistics are compiled, I believe you will see the murder rate reduced significantly, but the incidents of gun usage increased as residents defend themselves against the various crimes that are perpetrated against them. Hopefully the gang bangers and other miscreants, that are bent on wreaking gun violence havoc, will subside in their attacks as they take losses to the law abiding citizens and consider that it’s much more dangerous to confront someone on the street or to break into someone’s home.

Sep 24, 2013 5:40am EDT  --  Report as abuse
kbill wrote:
Yes…they’ve been charged and that’s good, but are they in custody? The article is vague at best on any outcome.

Gang members move with impunity between major urban centers, and the very communities which those gangs “victimize” are reticent in giving up their attackers. It takes a whole village to support a gang.

Sep 24, 2013 12:31pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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