Commentary by: Gordon King
Not all tragedies end in loss. God is good and is performing miracles in this time of darkness. This brave little guy survived being shot in the face by gang members. This miracle is an act of God. I send my prayers to this sweet child and his family, I also pray for those involved in the shooting, that God will turn their hearts to him that they may accept him as their Lord and Savior. Amen
Chicago toddler shot in face during mass park shooting is smiling and singing again
Deonta Howard thanks his supporters — and recites his ABCs — during an anti-gun violence rally less than two weeks after the tot was shot. WMAQ
Little Deonta Howard may have a bandage covering his upper lip, but the 3-year-old caught in the crossfire at a Cornell Square Park shooting on the south side is still smiling.
A 3-year-old boy who survived being shot in the face during a mass shooting at a Chicago basketball court is already smiling and singing again less than two weeks later.
Little Deonta Howard didn’t let a bandage covering his upper lip hide his smile as he grasped a microphone in his mother’s arms to speak out during a rally against gun violence in his hometown Monday.
Deonta Howard, 3, is recovering well but he is expected to need surgeries until he is 13 to repair the damage to his face. AP
“Thank you,” the youngster squeaked out to the roar of applause around him before taking advantage of the crowd’s enthusiasm to further showcase his knowledge of the ABCs.
Police say (clockwise from top left) Brad Jett, 22; Tabari Young, 22; Kewane F. Gatewood, 20, Bryon Champ, 21; David Logan, 22 (not shown) were aiming at rival gang members when Deonta Howard got shot. -/AFP/Getty Images
Just 11 days earlier, Deonta and 12 other people were wounded when gun fire erupted at the popular Cornell Square Park.
Five young men have since been charged in the shooting, which remarkably took no lives.
Deonta Howard (seen before the shooting) was shot in the cheek in what police suspect was gang-related violence in Cornell Square Park. Pastor Corey Brooks
Police say Bryon Champ, 21; Tabari Young, 22; Brad Jett, 22; David Logan, 22, and Kewane Gatewood, 20, were aiming at rival gang members when they opened fire Sept 19.
Keshawnda Green, 18, who was shot twice in the foot herself, tried to pull the 3-year-old to safety during the shooting on a popular basketball court. Chandler West/AP
Instead, the tiny toddler became caught in their violent crossfire, with a bullet piercing behind his ear and through part of his jaw.
Keshawnda Green, 18, who was shot twice in the foot herself, recalled to ABC7 last week that she saw the boy standing in the open not knowing what was going on as everyone else around him ran for cover.
Deonta and 12 other people were caught in the crossfire Sept. 19 at the popular Cornell Square Park. Paul Beaty/AP
“He’s just standing there, so I just grabbed him and tried to dive on the ground,” she said. “I couldn’t do much, but I did the best I could.”
Chicago police detectives investigate the scene where 12 people were shot in on the south side. PAUL BEATY/AP
Deonta’s mother, 24-year-old Shamarah Leggett, described her son as “strong.” It’s a character she’s now trying to emulate herself.
“He’s doing better than I expected. He’s moving around, playing,” she told DNA Info, Chicago. “He’s back to Deonta.”
The 3-year-old is expected to undergo surgeries until he’s 13 to repair his face. His mother told DNA Info that the bullet failed to cause any internal injuries to his brain.
Young and Jett have been charged with three counts of attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm. Champ, Gatewood, and Logan also face charges.