Four men have been charged in connection with a shooting at a basketball court in Chicago last week that injured 13 people. Police allege that Tabari Young, 22, was the shooter, and they also believe that Bryon Champ, 21, Kewane Gatewood, 20, and Brad Jett, 22, participated in the shooting. All face charges of attempted murder and aggravated battery. According to police, Young fired into the crowd at Cornell Square Park in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on the city’s southwestern side Thursday night:
A law enforcement source said Champ and Gatewood helped transport the weapon used in the shooting to the scene. Another source said the shooting was in retaliation after one of the suspects had been grazed earlier in a gang conflict in Back of the Yards.
Police identified Champ as a convicted felon and a documented street gang member. He was convicted of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon in July 2012 and was sentenced to boot camp at the Cook County Department of Corrections. . . .
Shell casings found around the blood-soaked basketball court in the 1800 block of West 51st Street were of the kind typically ejected from AK-47 rifles. Though gun violence long has plagued the city’s impoverished neighborhoods, offenders almost never use military-style weapons.
The youngest and most seriously injured victim, 3-year-old Deonta Howard, was recovering quickly after being shot in the cheek. He was walking around his room, talking, and eating solid food, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago authorities have struggled to reduce the level of violence in the city:
Emanuel has made curbing violence a high priority, allowing the Police Department to spend millions of dollars in overtime to saturate high-crime areas with hundreds of additional officers.
Through Sept. 15, police say, they’ve recorded 306 murders and 1,402 shooting incidents this year. That’s down 20 and 22 percent, respectively, from the same period in 2012. Police say overall violent crime is down about 15 percent, according to new figures released Monday.
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