Entries in Gun Violence (4)


Chicago Teen Killed Hours After Sister Attends Obama Speech On Gun Violence

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(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.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Gun Violence Victims Sound Off as State of the Union Guests

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- “Do something. You can.”
That was the plea of Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton to Congress Tuesday afternoon, hours before she was set to appear in the guest box of first lady Michelle Obama during the State of the Union address Tuesday night.

The Pendletons lost their daughter in January when she was shot by what police believe to have been Chicago gang members. Only days earlier the 15-year-old drum majorette had returned from Washington, D.C. where she had participated in the president’s second inaugural festivities.
“No one should feel the way we do and I'm appealing to Congress to be smarter than me. You guys signed up for the job,” the mother said.
Hadiya Pendleton’s death became the latest symbol in a renewed national debate on gun control.
The Pendletons are among at least 42 victims of gun violence who will be present for President Obama’s address Tuesday night, including family members of victims of the Dec. 14 elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., in which 20 first graders and six adults were slain. The guests were invited on behalf of the White House and dozens of lawmakers.

Cowley-Pendleton and other guests spoke Tuesday in the Capitol about what they want from the legislature and the Oval Office. The guests gathered in the Gabe Zimmerman Meeting Room, named for the aide of then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was fatally shot in 2011 when a gunman opened fire on the congresswoman and the crowd around her at an event in Tucson, Ariz. Zimmerman’s mother and fiancé were among the participants at Tuesday's event.
Also in attendance was Elvin Daniel of McHenry, Illinois. Daniel, a hunter and long-standing member of the National Rifle Association, lost his sister, Zina Haughton, when she was killed by her husband in a shooting rampage. Local media reported that days earlier the woman had obtained a restraining order against her husband that would have barred his ownership of a firearm.
Choking back tears Tuesday, Daniel implored the government to pass universal background check measures for all gun purchases.

Many members of Congress who had invited the guests were present for the remarks, wearing green and white ribbons in memory of the victims. Each lawmaker had been personally affected by gun violence in the past.

Representatives of the Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence, Million Mom March and Mayors Against Illegal Guns were also present for the event.

Not all victims of gun violence present on Capitol Hill had come to petition for strengthened gun control measures. Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday morning, one victim told lawmakers that had she not complied with state gun laws by leaving her firearm in her car, she may have helped to avert a 1991 massacre at Killeen, Texas that left 23 dead and scores more wounded.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


President Obama Renews Push to Reduce Gun Violence

Win McNamee/Getty Images(NEW ORLEANS) -- In his most extensive remarks on gun control since the tragedy in Tucson, President Obama Wednesday renewed his push to reduce gun violence saying “AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals.”
Citing the massacre in Colorado and the, “less publicized acts of violence” that plague the nation’s cities, the president told the National Urban League that steps to reduce gun violence, “should not be controversial, they should be common sense.”
Following an “extraordinary heartbreaking tragedy” like the deadly shooting in Aurora, Obama said there is, “always an outcry immediately after for action,” but that, “too often those efforts are defeated by politics and by lobbying and eventually by the pull of our collective attention elsewhere.”
“Steps to reduce violence have been met with opposition in Congress. This has been true for some time, particularly when it touches on the issue of guns,” he added.
The president made clear his support for second amendment rights, saying, “hunting and shooting are part of a cherished national heritage.”
“I also believe a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals. That they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities,” he said.
Going forward, Obama vowed to work with members of both parties to, “arrive at a consensus around violence reduction, not just of gun violence, but violence at every level.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Chicago Plans Anti-Gang Crackdown on Heels of Bloody Weekend

Scott Olson/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Supt. Garry McCarthy announced new crime fighting initiatives Tuesday after 40 people were shot over Memorial Day weekend.

On Tuesday, Emanuel and McCarthy outlined their strategy for dealing with Chicago’s gun violence -- including improved intelligence on gang activity, increased efforts to rid communities of the “cancer” of liquor stores where much of the violence occurs, and ridding the streets of guns responsible for so much of that violence.

"We determined that we needed to create a multi-faceted approach that is objective and not merely based upon making arrests," McCarthy said. "It requires commitment from many resources and angles. Our enhanced Gang Violence Reduction Strategy includes intelligence. It includes enhanced technology."

Emanuel announced the city’s collaboration with federal authorities to heighten crime-fighting initiatives across the city after at least 10 people died over the holiday weekend.

They plan on closer monitoring of social media as well where the violence can start with gang members “calling each other out,” as McCarthy put it.  He noted that 70-80 percent of the shootings are gang related and that “4 percent of the population drives 90 percent of the violence in the city.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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