Two men in their early 20s were charged with Thursday's shooting in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood that injured 13, including a three-year-old boy, reports said. The charges were announced at about 8.20 p.m. local time on Monday.
The suspects -- Bryon Champ, 21, and Kewane Gatewood, 20 -- were charged with three counts each of attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm, Sally Daly, spokeswoman for the Cook County state attorney’s office said, according to the Chicago Tribune. Champ has previous weapon charges and is a documented gang member.
Both the suspects involved in the shooting, which took place in Cornell Square Park, are believed to be from Chicago and they are scheduled to appear in bond court at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Tuesday.
Although authorities said the two “played significant roles” in Thursday’s shooting, neither is believed to be the shooter. A source in the law enforcement agency told the Tribune that Champ and Gatewood are believed to have helped transport weapons used in the shooting to the scene.
"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," Garry McCarthy, Chicago Police Superintendent, said in a statement cited by Associated Press. "These charges are just the beginning, and this investigation remains ongoing at this time."
McCarthy told NBC Chicago that the weapon used in the shooting, which injured 13 -- nine men, one boy and three women -- was an assault-style rifle with a high-capacity magazine. At least 20 shots were fired at the group in Cornell Square Park in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood shortly before 10:15 p.m.
"Senseless and brazen acts of violence have no place in Chicago and betray all that we stand for,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. “The perpetrators of this crime will be brought to justice and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I encourage everyone in the community to step forward with any information and everyone in Chicago to continue their individual efforts to build stronger communities where violence has no place."
The shooting has once again brought to the forefront Chicago’s gun violence problem, which Emanuel has been trying to curb. AP reported that putting an end to violence is high on Emanuel’s list, and he has allowed the city's police department to spend millions of dollars in overtime to station hundreds of officers in high-crime areas.
Keerthi Mohan is an IBTimes reporter covering entertainment and human interest stories.