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13 people wounded, including a toddler, in shooting in a Chicago park

CHICAGO — A gunman who shot and wounded 13 people at a South Side park Thursday night was armed with an assault-style rifle equipped with a high-capacity magazine, the police said Friday.

“A military-grade weapon on the streets of Chicago is simply unacceptable,” Garry McCarthy, the Chicago police superintendent, said at a news conference, where he issued another of his frequent calls for tighter state and federal gun laws.

Among the wounded was a 3-year-old boy, who was struck in the face and is expected to survive. The boy and two other victims were hospitalized in critical condition.

The police said that no arrests had been made and that investigators were uncertain about the intended target, the motive, or even the number of people who fired weapons. There may have been one gunman, McCarthy said, or as many as three.


The attack, which occurred at a pickup basketball game, was the latest flare-up of street violence that has confounded city leaders. Chicago had more than 500 homicides in 2012 — more than any other city in the nation, and about 80 more than New York, which has three times as many people.

The vast majority of the violence has occurred in poorer neighborhoods on the city’s South and West sides. The shooting Thursday again vaulted the issue to the center of the city’s debate about the causes of gun violence and potential solutions for the problem.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel canceled events on the East Coast on Friday to fly home because of the shooting, his aides said.

McCarthy said Friday that while shootings typically elicit few witnesses who volunteer information to officers, the attack in the park had generated fury — and help.

“We’re getting a ton of cooperation,” he said. “People are rightfully outraged.”