Published September 24, 2013
Two men were charged late Monday in connection with a shooting at a Chicago park that left 13 injured, including a 3-year-old boy.
MyFoxChicago.com reported that prosecutors had approved charges against Bryon "Lord" Champ, 21, and Kewane Gatewood, 20. Authorities said that each man was charged with three counts of attempted murder and three counts of aggravated battery with a firearm.
Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said that while the two played significant roles in the shooting, neither is believed to have pulled the trigger.
"Chicago Police detectives continue to work tirelessly to solve this case and hold the criminals who committed this senseless act of violence last Thursday night responsible for their actions," McCarthy said in a statement. "These charges are just the beginning, and this investigation remains ongoing at this time."
Sources told the station Monday that the Thursday night shooting at Cornell Square Park on Chicago's South Side was in retaliation for a minor bullet wound suffered by a gang member hours earlier. 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.
Meanwhile, the youngest victim of the shooting, 3-year-old Deonta Howard, had undergone two surgeries and was expected to undergo more, a minister in contact with Howard's family told MyFoxChicago.com Monday. The boy was aware of his surroundings and could shake his head.
Champ has previous weapons charges. He was convicted in July 2012 on charges of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and sentenced to Cook County Jail's boot camp. Champ is a documented gang member, according to authorities.
"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 said. He added that a three-year mandatory minimum sentence for illegal gun possession and truth in sentencing for gun crimes in Illinois is needed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report