4 charged, held without bail in shooting of 13 in Chicago park - New York News

4 charged, held without bail in shooting of 13 in Chicago park

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Photo courtesy of Pastor Corey Brooks. Photo courtesy of Pastor Corey Brooks.
Photo courtesy of Pastor Corey Brooks. Photo courtesy of Pastor Corey Brooks.
Clockwise from top left: Byron Champ, 21; Kewane Gatewood, 20; Brad Jett, 22; and Tabari Young, 22. Clockwise from top left: Byron Champ, 21; Kewane Gatewood, 20; Brad Jett, 22; and Tabari Young, 22.
CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A judge denied bail for four men charged in connection with a shooting at a Chicago park that injured a 3-year-old boy and 12 others. All four appeared before a Cook County judge Tuesday wearing street clothes.

Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said the gunmen opened fire on the group in retaliation for an earlier shooting in which one of them was slightly wounded. He said there was no specific target, but that the shooters went to the park because it was rival gang territory.

"There's a super-heated group of gunmen who were victims and offenders," McCarthy said. "This individual was a victim of gun violence and then became an offender."

RELATED: 13 wounded in gang shooting at Chicago park, assault rifle used

McCarthy said Tuesday all four are each charged with three felony counts of attempted murder in the first degree and three counts aggravated battery in Thursday's attack in Cornell Square Park on the southwest side.

Investigators believe Tabari Young, 22, was the principal gunman and Bryon Champ, 21, was also opened fire. Convicted felon Brad Jett, 22, is the suspected look out. Kewane Gatewood, 20, allegedly supplied the military-grade weapon that Young fired.

"Today we bring four criminals to justice for their roles in the shooting of 13 people," McCarthy said. Still, Chicago police said the investigation continues.

Young and Jett were charged on Tuesday, while Champ and Gatewood were charged Monday night. Police said Gatewood and Champ were scheduled to appear in bond court Tuesday, and Young and Jett are expected to appear Wednesday.

Among those injured in the shooting were two teenagers and 3-year-old Deonta Howard, who is recovering from surgery after being shot near his ear.

There was a basketball game going on at the Back of the Yards park, located near 51st and Wood. The mass shooting took place about 45 minutes before the park's 11 p.m. curfew.

"Our officers and our detectives have worked tirelessly in partnership with the community, to solve this case and hold the criminals who committed this senseless act of violence responsible for their actions," Supt. Garry McCarthy said in a statement.

The mayhem left 3-year-old Deonta "Tay-man" Howard with a bullet wound to the head and drew renewed national attention to Chicago's violence.

Deonta has undergone two surgeries and is expected to have more, Pastor Corey Brooks said Monday. The boy is aware and can shake his head, said Brooks, who has been in contact with the family.

The shooting allegedly was revenge for a minor graze wound Gatewood suffered several hours earlier in the 5200 block of South Paulina after a quarrel with gang rivals.

Prosecutors say the four are members of the Blackstone street gang. The park where they opened fire was inside territory frequented by members of the Gangster Disciples. Police said they don't believe they were targeting specific people.

Police said Gatewood and Champ were arrested Saturday night in an abandoned building in the 5200 block of South Marshfield, a few blocks from the chaotic park shooting.

Police have said some of the victims in the park were members of the Gangster Disciples and the shooters were suspected of being affiliated with the Black P Stones.

Champ's criminal record includes a 2012 conviction for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and a 2011 conviction for receiving stolen property. He was sentenced to Cook County Jail boot camp for the gun-possession conviction and had received probation in the other case, records show.

Young has been arrested more than a dozen times, police said.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel applauded the Chicago Police Department in a statement Tuesday, after the charges were announced. He said they proved, once again, why they are the best – by arresting the four men quickly. But he also said great police work is only one part of the strategy to keep Chicago safe from violent crime.

"We also need laws that reflect our values when it comes to gun crimes and carry real consequences for illegal gun possession," Emanuel said in a statement.

Emanuel says there should be a three-year minimum penalty for illegally carrying a gun and one of those charged should have been behind bars at the time of the shooting.

"As we invest heavily in programs for youth, in new policing strategies, and in building supports for those most likely to fall into gangs," Emanuel concluded, "we also need a three-year mandatory minimum bill for gun crimes."

On Monday Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy pointed to the case to highlight the need for stricter gun laws.

"He received boot camp for that gun crime and was back out on the streets to be a part of this senseless shooting," McCarthy said. "That is unacceptable. 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 that at least 16 rounds of 7.62 mm bullets, ammunition used in military-style rifles, were fired into the park. He noted last week it was "a miracle" no one was killed.

Police had recorded 306 murders and 1,402 shooting incidents this year in Chicago as of Sept. 15, down 20 and 22 percent, respectively, from the same period in 2012. Police say overall violent crime is down about 15 percent, according to new figures released Monday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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