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7-Year-Old Boy Shot and Killed, Woman Wounded in Humboldt Park, Police Say

By Mauricio Peña | July 5, 2015 9:05am | Updated on July 6, 2015 9:32am
 The photo of Amari Brown, 7, was hanging on the fence where he was shot and killed and a 26-year-old woman was wounded in a Humboldt Park shooting Saturday night, police said.
The photo of Amari Brown, 7, was hanging on the fence where he was shot and killed and a 26-year-old woman was wounded in a Humboldt Park shooting Saturday night, police said.
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DNAinfo/Mauricio Pena

CHICAGO — A 7-year-old boy was killed, and a 26-year-old woman was wounded in a Humboldt Park shooting Saturday night, police said.

The boy was later identified as Amari Brown, of the 500 block of North Drake Avenue in East Garfield Park.

Minutes before midnight, Amari and the woman were in the 1100 block of North Harding Avenue, when someone fired shots, said Officer Hector Alfaro, a Chicago Police Department spokesman.

The boy was shot in his chest and taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:56 a.m., Alfaro said. The woman was shot in her chest and also taken to Stroger Hospital where her condition had stabilized, Alfaro said.

Investigators said they thought Amari's father, who police said is a well-known gang member, was the intended target.

 A crowd gathered Sunday afternoon in the 1100 block of North Harding Avenue and hung posters and balloons where Amari Brown, 7, was gunned down, but declined to speak about the incident.
A crowd gathered Sunday afternoon in the 1100 block of North Harding Avenue and hung posters and balloons where Amari Brown, 7, was gunned down, but declined to speak about the incident.
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DNAinfo/Mauricio Pena

According to authorities, Brown's father was standing near his son and the 26-year-old woman when the shooting occurred.

Sunday afternoon, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy that Amari's father, whom he called Mr. Brown, was a "ranking" gang member with a 22-page arrest record.

"I've never seen anything like this," he said, holding a stack of papers that he said was the arrest record. Amari's father had been arrested 45 times, McCarthy said, most recently in April for gun possession.

Amari had just returned to his father's house in Humboldt Park after spending the day at his grandmother's, his grandmother told the Chicago Tribune. According to other news reports, Amari and the 26-year-old woman were not related, and police said that they were not the intended targets of the shooting.

A neighbor returning from a Fourth of July party arrived home shortly after the shooting.

"The police had blocked off the street, and the ambulance were taking the boy and the other person who was shot," said a woman who wished not to be named.

"It's gotten real hot in this neighborhood in the last two years," said the woman, who has lived on the block since the early '90s. "A lot of people from other places have been coming by and causing trouble on the block. It's scary to think you can't even be outside in the front yard because you fear for your safety. It's really ugly right now."

Miguel Orozco, who owns property nearby, learned about the shooting when he woke up Sunday morning to news vans lined up along the block.

"There were so many popping noises from fireworks that I didn't get up last night," Orozco said. "I couldn't distinguish between [the sound of] gunshots and fireworks."

A crowd gathered Sunday afternoon in the 1100 block of North Harding Avenue to put up posters and balloons where Amari was gunned down but declined to speak about the incident.

Tracy Finley said she had seen Amari ride his bike and frequently play with the other children on the block, describing him as a happy child.

"This is terrible," Finley said. "It's a damn shame, I don't want to have my kids playing outside because I'm scared something like this is going to happen."

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