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Two girls, ages 2 and 7, shot in drive-by near policing meeting

Chicago Police scene shooting thtook place 3500 block West School Street Avondale neighborhood Wednesday. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

Chicago Police at the scene of a shooting that took place in the 3500 block of West School Street in the Avondale neighborhood on Wednesday. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: August 3, 2011 5:55PM

Two young girls were injured in a drive-by shooting at a Northwest Side park Wednesday, just outside a meeting between police and community members at a fieldhouse.

A 2-year-old girl was grazed in the head and a 7-year-old girl was shot in the back about 7:50 p.m. at Avondale Park in the 3500 block of West School, police said. The older girl was in serious condition while the younger one was in fair condition Wednesday night at a hospital, officials said.

Resident Jo Ann Trainer recalled hearing five gunshots as she attended the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) meeting.

“I then heard screaming and crying,” said Trainer, a longtime resident in the neighborhood. “It was very hectic. It was very sad.”

She said she helped usher five crying young children from the playground into the fieldhouse. Ald. Ariel Reboyras of the nearby 30th Ward and a police officer also were at the meeting.

“It is a shame that people can’t enjoy themselves in the park on a hot day,” Trainer said.

Witnesses said someone opened fire from a car at males at a basketball court. Instead, the girls were shot as they played near a sprinkler, witnesses said.

Trainer said there are no security cameras in the park, something several concerned residents had brought up in previous CAPS meetings.

Others Wednesday complained of the danger of a basketball court in the area.

“The basketball court is a magnet for that kind of stuff happening,” Snake Roth, a neighborhood resident, said.

Police were questioning a male late Wednesday.

Contributing: Stefano Esposito

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