Moral Low Ground


Chicago Teen Mom Janay McFarlane Shot Dead Hours after Sister Attends Obama Gun Violence Speech

Janay McFarlane (Photo: Facebook)

Janay McFarlane (Photo: Facebook)

A young Chicago mother was shot to death just hours after her younger sister attended President Barack Obama’s speech condemning gun violence.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Janay McFarlane, 18, was visiting family and friends in North Chicago when she was shot in the head while on her way to a store. McFarlane, who had a 3-month-old son, was pronounced dead at 11:30 p.m. on Friday.

Hours earlier, McFarlane’s sister, 14-year-old Destini Warren, had attended President Obama’s Hyde Park Academy speech against gun violence.

“Last year, there were 443 murders with firearms on the streets of this city, and 65 of those victims were 18 and under,” Obama said. “So that’s the equivalent of a Newtown every four months.”

Angela Blakely, Janay and Destini’s mother, told the Tribune that the family had been looking forward to the president’s appearance at Hyde Park Academy, where Destini is a freshman. They would often talk about the recent shooting death of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old honor student at nearby high school who had performed at Obama’s second inauguration as part of her school’s drill team. Pendleton was randomly shot less than a mile from the president’s home, a key factor leading to his visit.

“It’s terrible,” Blakely told the paper, “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.'”

The slain teen, who also attended Hyde Park Academy before leaving due to her pregnancy, had been excited that her sister could see the president. Destini told the Tribune that Janay would often talk about Obama’s impending visit.

“She was excited for me,” Destini said. She sat two rows behind the president on stage as he discussed gun violence.

“I could relate to it because that’s been happening to a lot of people,” the teen told the Tribune.

MyFoxChicago reports that police are questioning two individuals in connection with McFarlane’s shooting.

Sadly, Janay McFarlane was not the only teen shot dead in Chicago on Friday. Frances Colon, also 18, was shot shortly after 7:00 p.m. One of the last things she did in her life was watch President Obama’s speech with her father, 46-year-old Jose Colon Jr.

Frances Colon (Photo: Facebook)

Frances Colon (Photo: Facebook)

“She said, ‘About time they do something with the gun thing,'” Colon said of his slain daughter. ABC 7 reported that Frances was an honor student at Roberto Clemente High School. According to the Chicago Tribune, she is the third Clemente student to be killed this year.

Rey Dorantes, a 14-year-old freshman, was shot to death at his family home in Humboldt Park on January 11.

And on December 9, 16-year-old Jeffrey Stewart was shot in the chest on North Harding Avenue in Humboldt Park. He died shortly after at Stroger Hospital.

There were 42 homicides in Chicago during the month of January, compared with 14 in New York City, which has three times as many people.

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