Humboldt Park neighborhood on the city's Westside on September 20, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. At least 20 people have been reported shot in the city, including at least one fatally, in less than an eight-hour period Thursday evening through early Friday morning. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY
Four men have been arrested and charged with attempted murder in the drive-by shooting at a Chicago park last week that wounded 13 people, including a 3-year-old boy who was shot in the face, Chicago's police superintendent said Tuesday.
Police alleged that Tabari Young, 22, allegedly opened fire with a military-grade weapon -- likely an AK-47 -- as he and a companion sped by Cornell Square Park in the southwest side neighborhood of Back of the Yards on Thursday.
Young, along with Brad Jett, 22, Bryon Champ, 21, and Kewane Gatewood, 20, were charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm. They were being held without bond.
Police alleged that Champ was the second shooter in the car, Gatewood supplied the rifle and Jett served as a lookout.
McCarthy said that Champ had apparently been grazed in a shooting incident in the area earlier in the day and came back with the other three seeking revenge.
McCarthy 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," the superintendent said. "This individual was a victim of gun violence and then became an offender."
Champ and Gatewood were arrested Sunday night in an abandoned building three blocks from the park.
Young "was identified as the person who shot 3-year-old Deonta Howard and 12 other victims," according to the arrest report, the Chicago Tribune reported. Jett "was identified as of the individuals who participated in the shooting," the report said. Howard is recovering from surgery after being shot near an ear.
The Tribune quoted Young's mother as calling her son a "good boy." She told the newspaper that Young's brother was shot and killed by Chicago police in June 2008 in a South Side neighborhood and that his father died last year after an illness.
"It's just that he gets caught up ... because there's no work," she told the Tribune from her home in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.
Champ 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. He is 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 told reporters.
He said the shooting highlighted a need for a three-year mandatory minimum sentence for illegal gun possession and truth in sentencing for gun crimes in Illinois.
McCarthy said Champ had been convicted of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon in 2012 and was sentenced to "boot camp" at the Cook County Department of Corrections instead of jail time.
"That is unacceptable," McCarthy said. "He received boot camp for that gun crime and was back out on the streets to be a part of this senseless shooting."
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, in a statement, called for a three-year minimum sentence for illegally carrying a gun.
"One of the shooters should have been behind bars rather than in Cornell Park on Thursday night. As we invest heavily in programs for youth, in new policing strategies, and in building supports for those most likely to fall into gangs, we also need a three-year mandatory minimum bill for gun crimes," he said.
Emanuel has made curbing violence a high priority, allowing the Police Department to spend millions of dollars in overtime to saturate high-crime areas with hundreds of additional officers.
Through Sept. 15, police say, they've recorded 306 murders and 1,402 shooting incidents this year. That's down 20 and 22%, respectively, from the same period in 2012. Police say overall violent crime is down about 15%, according to new figures released Monday.
Contributing: Associated Press