“Senseless and brazen acts of violence have no place in Chicago and betray all that we stand for,” Emanuel said in a statement. “The perpetrators of this crime will be brought to justice and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I encourage everyone in the community to step forward with any information and everyone in Chicago to continue their individual efforts to build stronger communities where violence has no place.”

The shootings came just days after the FBI released crime data showing that Chicago had more murders than New York in 2012. McCarthy argued Friday that the statistics were old news and did not represent the progress made in the city, where the murder rate has dropped by 20 percent over the past year.

Ald. Willie Cochran, a retired police sergeant whose redrawn ward will include Cornell Square in 2015, acknowledged the shootings landed a damaging blow against the city’s crime-fighting efforts.

“It’s a setback because we’ve been focusing so much attention on suppressing crime,” he said. “If you look at where we were last year and where we are this year, it shows that. But the perception of crime is greater than the crime itself. While law enforcement has been implementing programs, putting more officers on the street on overtime initiatives, it only takes one incident like this to change the whole perception of the reality.”

For neighborhood residents, the reality Thursday night included a burst of rapid fire and sight of a bleeding 3-year-old boy. Deonta’s older brother, Jamarrie Toney, was at his aunt’s home across the street from Cornell Square when he heard the shots. He ran to the park’s gate and saw his younger brother lying on the ground with a gunshot wound to the face.

Jamarrie, 9, had not seen Deonta – who goes by the nickname Tay Man – since paramedics rushed the little boy to the hospital. “I just miss him,” he said.

Another victim, a 37-year-old man who was shot in the leg, said he had been hanging around the park with friends when the gunfire began.

“I turned around, I heard screaming,’’ he said. “I saw Tay Man."

He paused.

“I just saw his face. Just tore off. . .they almost shot his whole face off,” he said.

The man, who asked that his name not be used, smoked a cigarette as he leaned on a cane after being released from the hospital. Medical tape held down a piece of cotton gauze on his left arm, and he was missing the shoe from the leg where he had also been shot.

He denied feeling anger toward the shooter. “I’m just grateful, grateful to be alive,” the man said.

Mayra Rodriguez, 23, who lives in the area with her 2-year-old daughter, heard rapid gunfire and then saw people on the ground. “Good thing most of them got hit in the legs,’’ she said.

“That kid was playing, he didn’t even know nothing, it was out of nowhere,’’ she said of the 3-year-old.

Relatives said the boy's uncle, Jerome Howard, was fatally shot in the Woodlawn neighborhood over the Labor Day weekend. The Rev. Corey Brooks, who presided over Howard's funeral, urged the shooter or shooters to surrender or face justice on the streets.

“There are people who know exactly who the shooter is,” he said. “And I'm sure he will not be safe shooting 13 people.”

As dawn broke today, broken glass could be seen strewn across the basketball court, along with discarded medical supplies, syringes without needles, plastic packaging, orange gloves and a bloody T-shirt.

Before Thursday night's shooting, eight children under the age of 8 had been shot in Chicago over seven weeks.

Police listed the victims as:

• A 3-year-old boy, shot in the ear, in critical condition at Mount Sinai