Fireworks dispute leads to shooting in Washington Park

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WASHINGTON PARK, Ill. – A dispute over fireworks in Washington Park ends with four people shot, including two children.

Three of the victims are still hospitalized, including the two children.

Charles Swarn Sr. and his 16-year-old son were both wounded in the incident.

It all went down about 9:15 p.m. Tuesday night on North 47th Street very close to Caseyville Avenue.

Washington Park Police Chief Allen Bonds says three children—ages 6,7, and 12—were shooting off fireworks near the home of a 41-year-old man.

Bonds says the man came outside with a gun and told the kids to stop shooting off the fireworks.

Then Charles’ 16-year-old son and his 18-year-old brother drove by on their way to a nearby tire shop that their family owns. The kids told the brothers what had happened.

Bonds says the brothers confronted the 41-year-old about the gun.

That’s when the 41-year-old opened fire, striking the 16-year-old in the stomach and leg. Bonds says the man shot the 12-year-old boy multiple times in the lower extremities and actually pulled him into his house for a time.

After that, the 41-year-old fired more shots, hitting Charles, who had come running out of his shop.

“Everything is just so screwed up. My son is messed up, a 12-year-old kid is messed up, and this crazy dude running around with guns shooting people,” Charles said.

Moments after Charles was shot, the chief says somebody else came out from Charles’ tire shop and shot the 41-year-old multiple times.

Police and EMS crews then arrived and took over.

Markeisha Turner, who lives across the street, says she was home with her kids and other family members when violence unfolded.

“I heard firecrackers then I heard gunshots,” she said. “And we just got out of the way of the windows and kind of like got down. So after a minute we got up, came outside, and it was all police.”

Chief Bonds tells us the 12-year-old is expected to be released soon. But Charles’ 16-year-old could be hospitalized for a while.

“We blessed because with the way everything went we all should be dead dealing with that guy,” Charles said.

At this point, no official charges have been filed.

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