Cookie consent

We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies. Tell me more | Cookie preferences

Deadly echo: Teen shot hours after sister attends Obama gun violence speech

Story highlights

  • Janay McFarlane, 18, was shot by an unknown assailant
  • Her death came hours after Obama spoke on gun violence
  • McFarlane's younger sister was in a high school group standing near the president
  • Hours later, the violence that Obama addressed claimed another young life

Hours after her younger sister stood behind President Barack Obama during his gun violence speech last week, an Illinois teen died when a bullet found her in a North Chicago alley.

Two people were being questioned Monday as police worked to piece together the final moments of 18-year-old Janay McFarlane, who left behind a 3-month-old son.

McFarlane's younger sister, 14-year-old Destini Warren, was among a group of high school students standing behind Obama when he spoke in Chicago on Friday. Obama cited gun violence that killed 443 people in the city last year as one reason why children need community wide support to help them believe they can improve their lives through education and hard work.

Before the night had passed, McFarlane was dead and her family was plunged into mourning.

"I felt like someone took a knife and stabbed me in my heart and took a piece of my heart that I will never, ever in my life get back," Angela Blakely, McFarlane's mother, said Monday in an interview with CNN affiliate WLS.

    Just Watched

    Ex-gang members try to prevent violence

Ex-gang members try to prevent violence 02:17
PLAY VIDEO

    Just Watched

    Hadiya Pendleton's parents speak out

Hadiya Pendleton's parents speak out 00:59
PLAY VIDEO

"This just echoes what the president had said Friday... we have to get handguns off the street," North Chicago Mayor Leon Rockingham Jr. told CNN on Monday.

    "We have more shootings than other communities, and it's too much," he said. "Any time you have gunfire, it's too much."

    The North Chicago Police Department and investigators with the Lake County State's Attorney's office said community members led them to the two people being questioned Monday. The two might have knowledge about the homicide, authorities said.

    Janay McFarlane's father said that despite gun violence in the community, his daughter's death by gunfire came as a shock.

    "You never think that it will be your child," Herbert McFarlane told WLS Monday. "This is the hardest day for me in my life."

    No bond for men accused in Chicago teen's shooting

      Gun control debate

    • Gun rights and gun control advocates largely agree there should be restrictions on mentally ill people obtaining firearms. The case of Myron Fletcher illustrates how difficult it is to put that into practice.
    • Six months after a gunman burst into a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school and slaughtered 20 children and killed six others, promises of stricter national gun control laws remain largely unfulfilled.
    • An undated photo of murder suspect Elliot Rodger is seen at a press conference by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff in Goleta, California May 24, 2014. Rodger, 22, went on a rampage in Isla Vista near the University of California at Santa Barbara campus, stabbed three people to death at his apartment before shooting to death three more in a terrorizing crime spree through the neighborhood. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

      Next time there's a mass shooting, don't jump to blame the National Rifle Association and lax gun laws. Look first at the shooter and the mental health services he did or didn't get, and the commitment laws in the state where the shooting took place.
    • Melvin Speight uses a camera scope run down a barrel to check the rifleing inside. Speight has been with Colt for 7 years.

      The sign at the door of the Colt factory displays a gun with a slash through it: "No loaded or unauthorized firearms beyond this point." Understandable for workers at a plant, but also a bit ironic, considering one of the largest arsenals in America lies just beyond.
    • clip inside man spurlock gun ownership_00004707.jpg

      Morgan Spurlock's "Inside Man" gives CNN viewers an inside and in-depth look at the issue of firearms -- as viewed from behind the counter of a gun store. Here are five things to know about the debate.
    •  	US President Barack Obama is accompanied by former lawmaker Gabrielle Giffords (L), vice president Joe Biden (R) and family members of Newtown school shooting victims as he speaks on gun control at the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, on April 17, 2013. Obama on Wednesday slammed what he called a 'minority' in the US Senate for blocking legislation that would have expanded background checks on those seeking to buy guns. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

      The Senate defeated a compromise plan to expand background checks on firearms sales as well as a proposal to ban some semi-automatic weapons modeled after military assault weapons.
    • Jessica Ghawi

      As Congress grapples with major gun control legislation proposals, brothers and sisters, mothers, fathers and children write about the people they loved and lost to gun violence and how it changed their lives.
    • Many Americans and lawmakers are in favor of continuing or expanding background checks on gun purchases, but few understand how the checks work.
    • Still stinging from the shooting deaths at Sandy Hook, Connecticut lawmakers approved what advocacy groups call the strongest and most comprehensive gun legislation in the nation.
    • It took fewer than five minutes for Adam Lanza to squeeze off 154 rounds, upending life in Newtown, Connecticut, and triggering a renewed national debate over gun control.
    • A former drug addict turned anti-violence crusader, and a man who lost his father in a temple shooting. These are just two of many in the conversation.