Semecha Nunn tried hard to talk about her 3-year-old grandson, one of 13 people shot as neighbors played basketball in Cornell Square Park in the Back of the Yards Thursday night.
Witnesses told police a gray sedan pulled up to the park around 10:15 p.m. and two men started firing in the 1800 block of West 51st Street. The victims ranged from 3 to 41 and included a 15-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl. Three of them, including the boy, were in serious to critical condition.
“I think it was like an AK,” said one neighbor. “Man, it was a lot of shots. Man, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. A little boy got hit in the face.”
Another neighbor said he was across the park from the basketball court when he heard as many as 20 shots. “I was across the park and I heard the shots and I came over and there was a lot of people down. It happened so fast. They were just playing ball, like they do everyday.”
The first paramedics found more than a dozen people lying across the rust-colored court. One person lay near a bicycle that was on its side. A pair of white gym shoes was left near an out-of-bounds line.
Ambulances continued to arrive a half hour after the shootings as wounded people were brought out of the park on stretchers. About 60 police officers converged on the park and crime lab investigators combed the scene. By about 12:30 a.m. Friday, firefighters used hoses to clean blood from the basketball court.
Police later said a total of 13 people were shot, the boy, two teens, and 10 adults, with the 3-year-old boy the most seriously wounded in critical condition.
The boy suffered a gunshot wound to the head and is at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Family members tell the Chicago Tribune the boy’s name is Deonta’ Howard.
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.”
Chicago Police continue to investigate and nobody is in custody for the shooting.
Check back for updates.
- 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 Sinia;
- 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.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued this statement on the shootings:
“Senseless and brazen acts of violence have no place in Chicago and betray all that we stand for. The perpetrators of this crime will be brought to justice and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I encourage everyone in the community to step forward with any information and everyone in Chicago to continue their individual efforts to build stronger communities where violence has no place.”