Chicago shooting investigation "making great strides" -police chief

by Reuters
Monday, 23 September 2013 23:27 GMT

By Renita Young

CHICAGO, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy on Monday said his department is "making great strides" in determining who opened fire with an assault weapon at a park last week, wounding 13 people, including a 3-year-old boy.

After a morning police graduation ceremony, McCarthy said the investigation is "ongoing and proceeding," but did not confirm whether arrests have been made.

"When we are ready to announce that we have somebody in custody, we'll do that. We can jeopardize the entire investigation by prematurely putting out information," he said.

The Chicago Tribune reported that detectives took two men into custody on Sunday. One of the men is believed to be the shooter and the other man is said to have been a participant in the shooting, the paper reported.

The shooting on Thursday took place in the Back of the Yards neighborhood in a park, where residents were enjoying a basketball game on a warm late-summer evening.

The shooting came 10 days after Mayor Rahm Emanuel and McCarthy held a press conference in a nearby neighborhood to claim success in a strategy of flooding 20 high-crime neighborhoods with police.

Back of the Yards was not one of the neighborhoods which received police reinforcements under the plan, McCarthy said last week.

On Saturday, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said he would be open to sending the National Guard into the city to help police, but only if local officials support the idea, according to the local CBS news station.

"The National Guard is not a policing force, they are a military force," McCarthy said on Monday. "By the way, might I remind you of where we are in comparison to where we were last year and in 2011 and compared to the 90s. Let's stop the hysteria." He did not give details.

Gun violence in Chicago led to more than 500 murders in 2012, according to a recent report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. New York City, with three times Chicago's population, had 419 murders in 2012, the FBI said. (Reporting by Renita Young; Writing by Brendan O'Brien; Editing by Greg McCune and Carol Bishopric)

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