[quote]A gunman with a military-grade assault rifle opened fire on a pickup basketball game in the Back of the Yards neighborhood late Thursday, injuring 13 people and dragging the city back into the international spotlight for its violent crime problem. At least 16 bullets were fired into Cornell Square Park around 10:15 p.m. on Thursday, wounding a 3-year-old boy and a dozen other people. All are expected to survive, many with wounds to their arms and legs. Shell casings found around the blood-soaked basketball courts were 7.62 mm rounds, which are traditionally used in AK-47 assault rifles and rarely found in gang attacks on Chicago’s South Side. Though gun violence has long plagued the city’s impoverished neighborhoods, offenders almost never use military-style weapons. “It's a miracle there has been no fatality,” Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said at a news conference this morning. “Illegal guns, illegal guns, illegal guns drive violence....A military-grade weapon on the streets of Chicago is simply unacceptable.” The park is in a heavily gang-infested area, but it is not in a so-called impact zone flooded by officers to deter crime, McCarthy said. The nearest zones are three blocks to the north and three blocks to the south, leaving the Cornell Square as a no man’s land protected only by occasional patrols and an 11 p.m. curfew. About 45 minutes before the park’s closing time, at least one gunman walked to the basketball court in the 1800 block of West 51st Street and opened fire, police said. The 13 people hit included both the pick-up game’s players and spectators such as 3-year-old Deonta Howard. Deonta, who was standing near the court, was shot near the ear and the bullet exited through his cheek, according to police and relatives. His family said the boy is expected to recover but will need plastic surgery. After visiting Deonta at Mount Sinai Hospital Friday, his grandmother Semehca Nunn called for an end to the violence that has terrorized her historically working-class neighborhood in recent years. “They need to stop, they need to stop,” Nunn said, before collapsing in tears. Police believe the shooting stemmed from an ongoing dispute between the Black P. Stones and Gangster Disciples. It was not known if any of the victims were the intended targets, authorities said. “There were members of gangs on the scene and there were gang members among the victims,” McCarthy said. Authorities do not have anyone in custody and are currently reviewing police cameras mounted nearby. There could be as many as three offenders, officials said. The first paramedics on scene found more than a dozen people lying across the rust-colored court. One person lay near a bicycle that was on its side. A pair of white gym shoes were left near an out-of-bounds line. Ambulances continued to arrive a half hour after the shootings as wounded people – including a 15-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl – were carried out on stretchers. About 60 police officers converged on the park and crime lab investigators combed the scene. Witnesses say Deonta was the first to be carried away. The images again captured the world’s attention as international media organizations ran stories about the shooting and foreign reporters attended a Friday morning press conference at police headquarters. McCarthy repeatedly refused to address the incident’s toll on the city’s reputation or his department’s effort to curb gun violence. “Every time somebody is shot in this city, it’s a setback,” McCarthy said. “But this is not just a Chicago problem.” The incident appeared problematic enough for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to cancel a meeting with Obama administration cabinet secretaries today on city issues and return to Chicago, his spokeswoman Sarah Hamilton said. Emanuel flew to D.C. Thursday to raise money for his campaign fund. His East Coast swing also was supposed to include a political fundraiser for Democratic New Jersey U.S. Senate candidate Cory Booker. Upon his return, Emanuel spent 40 minutes at Mount Sinai Hospital, where he spoke with Deonta’s mother. The boy, who remains in critical condition, was sedated and being prepared for surgery during the visit. The mayor did not speak with reporters, but released a statement asking the community to cooperate with the investigation.[/quote] Thank God no one died.