Janay McFarlane killed same day sister sat behind Obama during gun violence speech

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com  |  Feb. 18, 2013 at 9:54 AM
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Chicago's horrific gun violence claimed another young victim when 18-year-old Janay McFarlane was shot and killed in North Chicago Friday evening.

This time, the death was marked by a tragic irony: McFarlane's sister Destini Warren had spent the afternoon at her high school, Hyde Park Academy, standing just a few feet behind President Obama as he delivered a plea to halt Chicago's bloody cycle of violence.

McFarlane had been a student at Hyde Park before she became pregnant with her now 3-month-old son and dropped out.

She was pronounced dead at 11:30 p.m. Friday from a single gunshot wound to the head, the Chicago Tribune reported. She had been visiting her father and cousin in North Chicago, a small city about 25 miles up the coast from the edge of Chicago proper.

Angela Blakely, mother to both girls, said McFarlane had been asking questions about death and her own mortality since since the high-profile death of anther Chicago teen, Hadiya Pendleton, last month.

“It's terrible, it's terrible the only thing I can remember is my daughter telling me, 'Mommy, it's so sad about Hadiya. That makes no sense,'“ Blakely said. “She always asked me a lot of questions about death.”

"All this gun violence going on, you never think it would be your child," said Herbert McFarlane, Janay's father. "This is the hardest thing for me in my life."

McFarlane's family said she had been splitting her time between her father's house in North Chicago and her mother's in the Gresham neighborhood on Chicago's south side.

"I'm in Lake County to get away from violence and now it happened in Lake County where I moved to," Herbert McFarlane said.

According to WLS, an ABC affiliate, Lake County police were questioning two people in connection to McFarlane's death.

As of last week, 49 people had been murdered in Chicago so far in 2013, 41 of them died as a result of gunshot wounds, according to data compiled by RedEye Chicago.

At least two other teens, 18-year-old Frances Colon and 17-year-old Oscar Marquez were also gunned down in separate incidents in the city this weekend.

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