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Four now charged in South Side park shooting that hurt 13

Updated: October 25, 2013 6:09AM



Four men were held ordered held without bail Tuesday in the shooting that wounded 13 people in a South Side park, including one police say fired a military-grade weapon into the crowd, allegedly an act of revenge because one of the men had been grazed in a shooting hours earlier.

“Thirteen people were shot,” said Cook County assistant state’s attorney John Dillon, arguing for no bond before Cook County Judge Joseph Panarese. “By the grace of God, none of them died.”

Tabari Young, 22 — who police said fired a military-grade weapon at the park — and Brad Jett, 22, were charged Tuesday with three counts of attempted murder and three counts of aggravated battery with a firearm, police said. On Monday, Cook County prosecutors approved charges against Bryon “Lord” Champ, 21, and Kewane Gatewood, 20, in the mass shooting at Cornell Square Park near 51st and Wood that occurred Thursday about 45 minutes before the park’s 11 p.m. curfew. All of the men are from Chicago.

Police said Champ also fired a gun during the shooting. Gatewood allegedly supplied the gun to Young, and Jett allegedly acted as a lookout in the shooting, police said.

After Tuesday’s bond hearing, four family members were hustled out of court, and one man discussing Champ said: “He alright.”

The investigation continues, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Tuesday.

“It’s not even close to being finished,” he said.

The mayhem left 3-year-old Deonta “Tay-man” Howard with a bullet wound to the head and drew renewed national attention to Chicago’s violence.

Deonta has undergone two surgeries and is expected to have more, the Rev. Corey Brooks said Monday. The boy is aware and can shake his head, said Brooks, who has been in contact with the family.

The shooting allegedly was revenge for a minor graze wound Champ suffered several hours earlier in the 5200 block of South Paulina after a quarrel with gang rivals, sources said Monday.

Police have said some of the victims in the park were members of the Gangster Disciples street gang and the shooters were suspected of being affiliated with the Black P Stones.

Champ’s criminal record includes a 2012 conviction for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and a 2011 conviction for receiving stolen property. He was sentenced to Cook County Jail boot camp for the gun-possession conviction and had received probation in the other case, records show.

On Monday, McCarthy pointed to the case to highlight the need for stricter gun laws.

“He received boot camp for that gun crime and was back out on the streets to be a part of this senseless shooting,” McCarthy said. “That is unacceptable. To truly address violence for the long-term we need state and federal laws that keep illegal guns out of our communities and provide real punishment for the criminals who use them.”

McCarthy continued to hammer the point at a news conference Tuesday, pressing the need for punishment for criminals who carry illegal guns: “If Bryon Champ is not on the street — as he shouldn’t have been — this incident likely does not occur.”

McCarthy said that at least 16 rounds of 7.62 mm bullets, ammunition used in military-style rifles, were fired into the park. He noted last week it was “a miracle” no one was killed.

Contributing: Stefano Esposito, Jon Seidel, Mitch Dudek, Francine Knowles

Email: fmain@suntimes.com



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