A three-year-old boy was among 12 people shot in an incident at a park on the South side of Chicago on Thursday evening, according to police.
The shootings took place at around 10.15pm at a basketball court in the city’s Back of the Yards neighbourhood. Deputy Fire Chief James Mungovan told reporters that all of the victims were alive when they were transported to local hospitals.
A witness told the Chicago Tribune that the child, said to be in a serious-to-critical condition, had been shot in the face. Firefighters later turned their hoses on the basketball court to clean away blood. No suspects were in custody last night, though a police spokesman said investigators considered the shooting to be gang-related.
At least six more people were shot, one fatally, in five more separate attacks elsewhere in the city on Thursday evening, police said. The spate of shootings follows the US national Labour Day holiday weekend – the first in September – when eight people were shot dead in Chicago and a further 20 injured. The authorities have said previously that gun violence in Chicago has slowed somewhat since last year, when 500 homicides were reported in the city.
In February, President Barack Obama – a long-time Chicago resident – delivered a speech there, in which he mourned the death 15-year-old schoolgirl Hadiya Pendelton, who was shot and killed just a week after taking part in the President’s inauguration celebrations.