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Chicago police interviewing 'people of interest'

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago police said Monday they're interviewing "several people of interest" in connection with last week's shooting that injured 13 people, including a 3-year-old boy.

"We are making great strides," Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said during a graduation ceremony for new officers. "There's no doubt in my mind we're going to close this case quickly."

So far, no one's been charged in the case, which returned Chicago's gun violence problem to the nation's consciousness.

Authorities say as many as three people opened fire on a basketball court in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on the city's southwest side late Thursday. Among those injured were 3-year-old Deonta Howard, who was recovering this weekend from surgery after he was shot near the ear, along with two teenagers.

The assailants fired more than a dozen rounds from an assault-style rifle, police have said. They believe the shooting was gang-related, as several gang members were injured, although it's not yet clear who the intended target was.

McCarthy declined to elaborate on the investigation Monday.

"When we are ready to announce we have somebody in custody, we'll do that," he said. "We can jeopardize the entire investigation by prematurely putting out information."

Mayor Rahm Emanuel rode along with police officers late Sunday in particularly violent city neighborhoods.

Emanuel has made curbing violence a high priority, allowing the police department to spend millions of dollars in overtime to saturate high-crime areas with hundreds of additional officers.

Through Sept. 15, police say they've recorded 306 murders and 1,402 shooting incidents this year. That's down 20 and 22 percent, respectively, from the same period in 2012. Police say overall violent crime is down about 15 percent, according to new figures released Monday.

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