CHICAGO (AP) — Eleven people, including a 3 year old child, were injured late Thursday when someone opened fire on people in a park located in Chicago's Back of the Yards neighborhood.
Chicago Fire Department officials said the child was in critical condition. Two other victims were also in critical condition, officials said.
Officer Amina Greer said the shooting occurred shortly after 10 p.m. Thursday. According to Greer, at least 10 ambulances responded to the scene, transporting victims to several area hospitals.
A witness, Julian Harris, told the Chicago Sun-Times that dreadlocked men fired at him from a gray sedan before turning toward Cornell Square Park and firing at people in the area. He said his 3-year-old nephew was wounded in the cheek.
"They hit the light pole next to me, but I ducked down and ran into the house," he said. "They've been coming round here looking for people to shoot every night, just gang-banging stuff. It's what they do."
Authorities said no one had been taken into custody in connection with the shooting.
Francis John, 70, said she was in her apartment when the shooting occurred. She said went down to see what was going on and "a lot of youngsters were running scared." She said she was surprised by what had happened, saying she has lived in the neighborhood for 30 years.
She told the Sun-Times there hasn't been much gun violence in the neighborhood in recent years, adding the neighborhood went from good to bad 10 years ago, to better recently.
Hot spot policing, reducing gun violence and reintegrating former felons into society will be among the topics discussed at an Urban Crime Summit being held in St. Louis and Kansas City.
Police chiefs, mayors and prosecutors from both sides of the state will join with law enforcement experts this month at Attorney General Chris Koster's four-day summit - two days in KC and two in St. Louis.
Both of Missouri's largest cities consistently rank in the top 10 nationally for high levels of violent crime.
Koster said in a statement that violent crime is hurting Missouri families and the state's economy.
Authorities say dozens of people face drug or weapons charges as part of a crackdown in parts of the metro-east that the St. Clair County prosecutor says are "in a state of lawlessness."
State's Attorney Brendan Kelly says most of the more than 50 people charged are from East St. Louis, Washington Park, Alorton and Cahokia. The three-month investigation, dubbed "Operation Wild, Wild East" was funded by a federal grant overseen by Illinois State Police.
Kelly says the communities where the alleged offenses took place don't have enough policing, and that laws simply aren't being enforced.