NBA stars, Chicago leaders unite against city violence

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From community leaders to NBA players, Chicagoans worked Saturday to recover after a violent shooting devastated the city and thrust area violence back into the national spotlight.

The first rally of Chicago residents and advocates took place in the same neighborhood where 13 people were wounded in a spray of gunfire on a basketball court two days earlier. Three-year-old Deonta Howard was the youngest victim, police said.

Witnesses said several gunmen fired at least 20 shots at a group gathered at Cornell Square Park, on the 1800 block of W. 51st Street, shortly before 10:15 p.m. The spray of bullets sent a mass of people to the ground on the basketball courts.

Chicago’s top police official, Supt. Garry McCarthy said an assault-style rifle with a high capacity magazine was used in the park shooting.

Armed with fliers and a strong message, community members took to the streets Saturday night in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.

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