A shooting at a park in the Back of the Yards neighborhood in southwest Chicago wounded 13 people Thursday night, including a 3-year-old boy. Police have said they believe the incident was gang-related but have not disclosed other details about their investigation. The boy was injured the most seriously, according to the Chicago Tribune:
The boy suffered a gunshot wound to the head at an ear that exited through his mouth, and was in critical condition at Mount Sinai Hospital, police said. . . .
A witness at the scene said three police officers carried the child to an ambulance.
“I didn’t hear no sounds,” from the child, he said.
Family members identified the boy as Deonta’ Howard, whose uncle was shot to death on Labor Day, Sept. 2.
Deonta’--pronounced Deontay--nicknamed Tay Man, has a dislike for haircuts, one cousin said.
“He didn’t like haircuts because he has a big head,” said Porsche Chester, a cousin of the boy’s. “But he is extremely smart. He didn’t have that (head) for nothing.”
Violence continues to plague Chicago, including the spate of homicides over Labor Day in which the child’s uncle reportedly died:
The shooting comes nearly three weeks after Chicago saw an outburst of violence over the Labor Day weekend that ended with eight dead and 20 others injured. Chicago’s police superintendent has said that overall violence is down so far this year compared to 2012, when the number of homicides topped 500 for the first time since 2008.
Following a surge in homicides and shootings last year, the police department stepped up its crime-fighting efforts by, among other things, paying overtime to add patrols to some neighborhoods, including the Back of the Yards. Through the first six months of the year, the department’s more than $57 million on overtime pay for officers, more than half of it from a program that saturates dangerous neighborhoods with hundreds of officers every night.
People close to the boy told the Associated Press they expected him to survive.