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11, including child, 3, shot in Chicago park

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CHICAGO >> Eleven people, including a 3-year-old child, were injured late today when someone opened fire on people in a park located in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood.

Chicago Fire Department officials said the child was in critical condition. Two other victims were also in critical condition, officials said.

Officer Amina Greer said the shooting occurred shortly after 10 p.m. Thursday. According to Greer, at least 10 ambulances responded to the scene, transporting victims to several area hospitals.

A witness, Julian Harris, told the Chicago Sun-Times that dreadlocked men fired at him from a gray sedan before turning toward Cornell Square Park and firing at people in the area. He said his 3-year-old nephew was wounded in the cheek.

“They hit the light pole next to me, but I ducked down and ran into the house,” he said. “They’ve been coming round here looking for people to shoot every night, just gang-banging stuff. It’s what they do.”

Authorities said no one had been taken into custody in connection with the shooting.

Francis John, 70, said she was in her apartment when the shooting occurred. She said went down to see what was going on and “a lot of youngsters were running scared.” She said she was surprised by what had happened, saying she has lived in the neighborhood for 30 years.

She told the Sun-Times there hasn’t been much gun violence in the neighborhood in recent years, adding the neighborhood went from good to bad 10 years ago, to better recently.

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