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13 shot — including a 3-year-old boy — in Back of the Yards


Police provided this information on the victims:

◆ The 3-year-old boy was shot in the face, in critical condition at Mt. Sinai.

◆ A 15-year-old boy was shot in the arm, in stable condition at Holy Cross.

◆ A 17-year-old girl was shot in the foot, in stable condition at Holy Cross.

◆ A 23-year-old woman was shot in the foot, in stable condition at St. Anthony.

◆ A 31-year-old man was shot in the buttocks, in stable condition at Northwestern.

◆ A 28-year-old man was shot in the wrist, leg and hip, in unknown condition at Mt. Sinai.

◆ A 41-year-old man was shot in the buttocks, in serious condition at Stroger.

◆ A 26-year-old man was shot in the leg, in serious condition at Mt. Sinai.

◆ A 25-year-old man was shot in the abdomen, in serious condition at Mt. Sinai.

◆ A 37-year-old man was shot in the thigh, in good condition at Stroger.

◆ A 21-year-old man was shot in the leg, in good condition at Northwestern.

◆ A 23-year-old man was shot in the thigh in stable condition at Little Company of Mary.

◆ A 33-year-old woman was shot in the back/shoulder, in stable condition at Northwestern.

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Updated: September 23, 2013 11:29AM

Thirteen people were shot — including a 3-year-old boy — Thursday night at a South Side park when two gunmen opened fire on a group gathered at a basketball court in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.

As bullets began to fly about 10:15 p.m., the group scattered, taking cover wherever they could at Cornell Square Park, police and witnesses said.

Julian Harris, 22, said his 3-year-old nephew, Deonta “Tay-man” Howard, was shot in the face.

Deonta was taken in critical condition to Mount Sinai Hospital, according to Fire Media Affairs.

Harris said dreadlocked gunmen in a gray sedan fired at him at the corner of Wood and 51st before turning north on Wood and shooting up the park. According to other witnesses, two gunman got out of the car and began shooting.

Police said the shooting was gang-related, but they could not describe how the shooting occurred.

“They hit the light pole next to me but I ducked down and ran into the house,” Harris said. “They’ve been coming round here looking for people to shoot every night — just gang-banging stuff. It’s what they do.”

The young boy’s aunt, Lavada Hardeman, 18, said her brother, was killed on Labor Day.

“I can’t catch a break,” Hardeman said.

The 3-year-old’s uncle, Jerome “J Money” Wood, a rapper who was affiliated with Def Jam artist Durk “Lil Durk” Banks, was shot in the head and died on Sept. 2 in the 6600 block of South Rhodes in the Woodlawn neighborhood.

Corey Brooks, pastor of New Beginnings Church on the South Side presided over Wood’s funeral. He said he was called early Friday to again comfort the family at the hospital.

“They’re frustrated, upset and hurt and disappointed that this is just happening over and over and over in our community,” Brooks said.

Brooks said the bullet passed through Deonta’s face, but did not cause brain damage.

“The family’s all here. They’re pretty distraught,” said Brooks, adding that he does not think the shooting was connected to Wood’s death.

At the scene of the shooting, a woman identified by family as the 3-year-old’s grandmother — who is the slain rapper’s mother — lashed out at police, yelling, “You . . . . cops can’t solve s---.”

Family eventually persuaded her to climb into an SUV waiting to take her to the hospital.

Neighbors around the park marveled at the sight of dozens of police and described how their evenings were interrupted by the staccato sound of gunfire. Neighbors said they dove to the floor for cover in their homes.

A 13-year-old neighbor said she was in her living room across the park when she heard multiple shots. “I got down because I was scared,” she said in Spanish.

“Now I’m scared after seeing this,” Claudio Patino said in Spanish. “I haven’t seen this ever. This is the first time.”

Kevin Green, 50, said he saw multiple injured victims being taken away on stretchers.

“The women were crying and screaming,” he said. “It was wild.”

Francis John, 70, was upstairs in her three-flat near the park when she heard gunfire: “It was a lot of boom, boom, boom.”

When she went outside to see what had happened, “A lot of youngsters were running scared,” she said.

John, who said she has lived in the neighborhood since 1983, was surprised by the shootings Thursday night.

During her 30 years in the area she has seen the neighborhood go from good, to bad — to better in recent years.

“We were surprised. People are watching the community,” John said, referring to neighborhood watch efforts. “I thought [the shootings] were over. But despite this incident, it’s not as bad as it used to be.”

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