Chicago violence continues to grab headlines. A “Peace Picnic” ended with three shot and one beaten at a park on the Near North Side. Earlier, at a basketball tourney, gunfire left one dead, another critically wounded and an arrest of an armed 13-year-old. And both happened in Illinois designated “gun free” zones.
Magical thinking does little to keep people safe in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s open air municipal shooting range. Earlier Sunday, we reported that Hizzoner is now searching for the root causes of Chicago’s violence.
Organizers of the back-to-school “Peace Picnic” certainly tempted fate with the name. They lost to gang members, even though the event took place at a gun-free city park. Well, gun-free for law-abiding, card-carrying good guys who play by the rules. Bad guys don’t have to worry about those rules, the laws or risk of arrest in Rahm’s paradise by the Lake.
One incredulous witness said, “This was a peace event. Somehow it went haywire.” Something went haywire alright. Some like to call it “gun violence.” Really though, gangs, not guns, caused the violence that left three wounded and another hospitalized with a beat-down.
The Chicago Tribune covered the chaos:
Three men were shot and a fourth was beaten up during what witnesses said was a peace picnic at the Near North Side’s Seward Park on Saturday evening.
The triple shooting happened shortly after 6 p.m. in the 300 block of West Division Street during what a witness described as a back-to-school “peace picnic.’’
One to three gunmen between the ages of 15 to 20 opened fire at a group as they stood outside, hitting three men — 28, 43 and 54, police said.
The 28-year-old, shot in the back, was listed in critical condition at Northwestern Memorial Hospital while the other two, shot in the legs and arms, were also taken to Northwestern, where their conditions had stabilized, according to police.
A fourth adult victim who was beaten up was taken in fair condition to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, said Chicago Fire Department spokesman Frank Velez.
“This was a peace event. Somehow it went haywire,’’ said Maurice Edwards, 50, who had been at the picnic all day. “A personal fight led to gunfire,’’ said Edwards, of 100 Men Standing, a violence prevention group.
Meanwhile, at another “gun-free zone” under Illinois law, another shooting left one dead and another in critical condition. The West Side’s Garfield Park fieldhouse hosted a basketball tournament. After several fights broke out inside, organizers ended the tournament and asked everyone to leave.
Police officers arrived to find fights everywhere. After shots broke out, cops arrested a 13-year-old and recovered his smoking gun. They also found two seriously wounded teens.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
A 13-year-old boy has been charged in connection with a shooting that left a teenager dead and another wounded outside the Garfield Park fieldhouse on Thursday.
The 13-year-old faces one juvenile count of aggravated use of a weapon by a person under 21, Chicago police officials said Saturday.
The shooting happened after a basketball tournament at the fieldhouse. Around 9:10 p.m., officers responded to a call of of a large fight inside the park district facility in the first block of North Central Park Avenue, police said.
While officers broke up the fight and tried to disperse the crowd outside, shots were fired, police said.
Police say Vice Lords gang member Kenwon Parker (right), 15, died after taking a round in the chest. He had quite a history, including arrests for burglary, possession of a stolen car and theft. His Strategic Subject List score of 357 proved prophetic.
A 14-year-old also wounded had no gang affiliations or arrests.
Here’s the Chicago Police Department confidential narrative of the event:
The victims attended a basketball tournament earlier in the evening in the Garfield Park Fieldhouse. The crowd attending the games was asked to leave due to several altercations that broke out inside the field house. The victims were among a crowd of individuals standing outside of the field house after the original altercations. Another fight broke out in front of the field house & several minutes later, shots were fired into the crowd by unidentified offender(s), striking the victims. Arrestee Corshun WILLIAMS (M/1/13 yoa) was located on scene in possession of a handgun and was taken into custody. Both victims were transported to Stroger Hospital where Victim PARKER was pronounced and Victim XXXXXX was listed in critical condition, scheduled to go into surgery. No ballistics evidence was recovered on scene and efforts to recover any potential video footage of evidentiary value are underway. No PODs were located in the immediate area. XXXXXX, a student at Christ the King HS, has no criminal history. PARKER, a student at Marshall HS, is on the SSL with a score of 357 & has 4 arrests that include Theft, [Possession of a stolen motor vehicle], Burg[lary].
Other than the 13-year-old kid and his gun, cops have no further suspects. Why is a 13-year-old kid toting a gun in a gun-free zone? Why is a 15-year-old driving around in a stolen car without a license?
Oh, that’s right. Because it’s Chicago. Murder City USA. And Monday morning, Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson will stand in front of the media telling us that more (failed) gun control will stop this craziness. Again. Will he publicly blame gangs for the violence? Chicago Police Department investigators knows the truth.
Time will tell.