(CHICAGO) — A Chicago teenager was shot and killed Friday only hours after her sister attended President Obama’s speech on the city’s rampant gun violence. Janay McFarlane, 18, was killed while walking with a friend during a visit to her dad, Herbert McFarlane, in North Chicago.
“All this gun violence going on, you never think it would be your child,” he told ABC’s Chicago station WLS. “This is the hardest thing for me in my life.”
Herbert McFarlane told WLS that the loss of Janay is especially hard because she leaves behind a 3-month old son, who likes to wear an “I love Mommy” shirt. The shooting occurred in Lake County, a northern suburb miles from the epicenter of the gun violence on the city’s South Side.
“I’m in Lake County to get away from violence and now it happened in Lake County where I moved to,” he told WLS.
McFarlane and her child spent time both in Lake County and on the South Side where her mother lives.
Only hours before McFarlane was shot and killed, President Obama returned to his hometown to speak on the South Side at a Hyde Park high school. McFarlane’s sister, Destini Warren, 14, sat behind the president during the speech.
More than 500 people were shot and killed here last year, and this year the situation has worsened with the most deadly January the city has seen in over a decade. The shooting death of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year old who performed in Washington, D.C. at events connected to the president’s inauguration last month, garnered national attention.
“Too many of our children are being taken away from us,” Obama said in Hyde Park, with McFarlane’s sister in the audience.
“Last year there were 443 murders with a firearm on the streets of this city, and 65 of those victims were 18 and under,” he said. “So that’s the equivalent of a Newtown every four months.” He was referring to Newtown, Conn., where 20 first graders were gunned down by Adam Lanza along with seven adults.
Only hours later in Chicago, another 18-year old was shot and killed.
“I felt like someone took a knife and stabbed me in the heart, and a piece of my heart I will never get back,” Angela Blakely, Janay McFarlane’s mother, told WLS.
North Chicago Police on Sunday reportedly questioned two people in connection to McFarlane’s death. Her family said McFarlane was an unintended target of the shooting.
Messages left by ABC News with the North Chicago Police Department and the Lake County Coroner’s Office went unreturned Monday.
Another Chicago teenager, Frances Colon, was also shot and killed Friday just hours after she had told her father that she saw President Obama’s helicopter fly over her neighborhood.
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