A Chicago woman whose sister sat just behind President Obama as he gave an anti-violence speech was shot and killed later that same day, in a tragic twist of fate.
Janay McFarlane, an 18-year old mom, was apparently caught in the crossfire during a shootout in North Chicago on Friday night. Police say two people are in custody and are being questioned about the shooting, but no charges have been filed yet.
McFarlane’s 14-year old sister was the one who attended Obama’s speech at Hyde Park Career Academy, where he spoke about the loss of 15-year old Hadiya Pendleton, the drum majorette who was fatally shot in a case of mistaken identity last month just days after performing at the president’s inauguration. Pendleton’s death closed out January with a whopping 40 shooting fatalities in Chicago, the highest amount for that month in over ten years. Janay McFarlane’s mother, Angela Blakely, spoke about her daughter’s compassion for those who lost their lives.
‘‘She always said after Hadiya Pendleton got killed, ‘Momma that’s so sad,’’’ Blakely said. ‘‘She was always touched by any kid that got killed. She was always touched by mothers who couldn’t be there for their babies because they were gone.’’
The young mom was taken from her own child, a three-month old son.
A different shooting in the city left another young woman dead on the same day; Frances Colon was killed in crossfire in Humboldt Park, the third shooting victim to be taken from Roberto Clemente High School. Colon’s dreams of becoming a lawyer were cut short, and her parents are mourning the bright girl who had such a strong future ahead of her.
“She was picking out her class ring, she was excited for her cap and gown, she was going to college,” said Dorothy Payton.
The shooting occurred just two hours after President Obama’s speech. Tragically, Colon’s father drove right by the crime scene after the shooting and saw her body covered in a sheet, but had no idea it was his daughter.