Nightly News   |  September 20, 2013

Multiple shootings wound 20 in Chicago

Once again, Chicago is in the headlines for gun violence -- even though murders this year are on track to be the lowest in nearly 50 years. NBC’s John Yang reports.

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>>> opening tonight at a theater near you and not the way you remember it. "nightly news" begins now.

>>> good evening. sadly this week in america is coming to an end the way it started. there has been another mass shooting, this time in chicago . 20 people were wounded in multiple shootings and one chicago police official is quoted as saying it's a miracle no one died in a night of rampant and brazen violence. . chicago has been in the spotlight for this very reason. after 500 homicides last year, more than any other city in america, police there were pointing to a 20% drop this year. then this. the kind of violence that badly wounded a 3-year-old child among others in one of this nation's great cities. we begin with john yang . good evening.

>> reporter: good evening, brian . this was the scene of that shooting about 24 hours ago. you can see kids are playing here again. it has been a very violent 24 hours . even though in chicago the number of shootings is down about 500 from last year and the number of murders this year is on pace to be the lowest in nearly 50 years. the neighborhood park basketball court looked more like a battleground, littered with wounded. 13 in all.

>> i think it was an ak. a lot of shots.

>> reporter: all are expected to survive. the youngest, 3-year-old diante howard t shot in the jaw. his grandmother buried his uncle just four days ago.

>> y'all out here killing these innocent people. kids, parents, grandparents, mothers, fathers. it's got to stop.

>> reporter: police say the shooting was gang-reelateded. the weapon, an assault-style rifle with a high capacity magazine.

>> military-type weapons like the one we believe to have been used in this shooting belong on the battlefield.

>> reporter: elsewhere in the city thursday night, at least nine other shootings that left at least four dead and seven wounded. for mayor ram emmanuel who visited dinte today it is not just about gun violence . it is a battle of perceptions. there have been more than 1400 shootings this year, a drop of 23% from last year. they are concentrated in the south and west sides.

>> it is important to understand it is not dodge city here.

>> reporter: commissioner mccarthy was a top cop oh in new york and newark. we spoke to him in august. was there anything about chicago when you got here that surprised you?

>> here h in chicago we have hierarchical gangs that have been around for generations. the grandfather was a gang member , the father was and the kid is.

>> reporter: he's flooding neighborhoods with cops on the beat. police overtime could hit $100 million this year.

>> it's the same beat every day. they get to know the kids.

>> reporter: the grandfather of thursday's smallest victim uh says the solution involves more than just police.

>> some of us parents stop being afraid of our kids and stand up.

>> reporter: it continues, brian . just a few miles from here. late this afternoon the body of a teenager was found shot to death. brian ?

>> john yang starting us off from chicago tonight . thanks.