Chicago teen charged in Halloween shooting that wounded girl

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By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) - A 15-year-old boy has been charged with attempted murder in connection with a shooting in Chicago on Halloween that critically wounded a 7-year-old girl who was hit by a stray bullet while trick-or-treating, police said on Saturday.

Police said they received tips from witnesses leading them to the teenager, who was arrested early on Friday and also charged with aggravated battery. He has not been identified.

The girl remains in critical condition but doctors are optimistic about her prognosis, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a message on Twitter.

"Prayers with her family & thanks to all who put their faith over their fear by coming forward with info," Guglielmi wrote.

The shooting comes as Chicago grapples with one of the nation's highest homicide rates for a major city, which has made it a target of criticism from President Donald .

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The girl was in a costume and out with her family in the Little Village neighborhood when she was wounded. She was not targeted, police said at the time, and a 31-year-old man who was shot in the hand may have been the intended victim.

Police recovered a gun and were testing it to determine whether it was connected to the shooting, Guglielmi said.

Chicago, the nation's third-largest city, had 561 homicides in 2018. But in October, it had the lowest number of shootings for that month since 2013, with murders down 24% compared to a year ago, Chicago police said in a statement.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles, Editing by Franklin Paul)

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