crimes and misdemeanors

Two Charged in Chicago Park Shooting, 3-Year-Old Victim Recovering

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 20: Shamarah Leggett (C) is comforted following a prayer service at New Beginnings Church for the victims of yesterday's mass shooting on September 20, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. Leggett's three-year-old son Deonta Howard was one of thirteen people wounded when a gunman opened fire yesterday on a crowd of people playing basketball in a park in the Back of the Yards neighborhood in the city's Southside. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Shamarah Leggett is comforted following a Sept. 20 prayer service. Photo: Scott Olson/2013 Getty Images

On Monday night, police charged two young men in the shooting that wounded thirteen people at a Chicago park last week, but neither is believed to be the shooter. Bryon Champ, 21, and Kewane Gatewood, 20, have been charged with three counts each of attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm. A law enforcement source tells the Chicago Tribune that the pair allegedly transported the weapon – possibly an AK-47 rifle – to Cornell Square Park, and another source says the shooting was intended as retaliation after one of the suspects was grazed in a gang conflict in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. Chicago police say the investigation is ongoing and “These charges are just the beginning.”

Police said it was a miracle that no one was killed in the attack, and thankfully 3-year-old Deonta Howard, who suffered the most serious injuries, is making a quick recovery. His face and right eye are still swollen after a bullet traveled from his ear out through his cheek, but the Tribune reports he’s “walking around his hospital room and even refusing to take off his brand-new blue Nikes when he sleeps.” He should go home in a few days, but will need reconstructive plastic surgery. “He just keep saying, ‘Ma, they shot me, they shot me with a gun. You heard me, mama?’ ” said his mother, Shamarah Leggett. “And I say, ‘Yeah, I heard you.’ But I just say, ‘You OK. You a big boy. You a soldier.’ 

Two Charged in Chicago Park Shooting