2 questioned in death of woman whose sister attended Obama speech

Published: Monday, Feb. 18, 2013 8:57 a.m. CDT

(MCT) — Two people are being questioned in connection with the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old Chicago woman who was killed Friday, the same day her sister attended President Barack Obama's speech on gun violence, officials said Sunday.

An 18-year-old man and a 20-year-old man are considered persons of interest in the homicide investigation and are being questioned by North Chicago police and officials from the Lake County State's Attorney's Office in connection with the death of Janay McFarlane, according to a statement released this afternoon by North Chicago police.

The men were arrested after McFarlane was shot at about 11:30 p.m. Friday on the  1300 block of Jackson Avenue in the northern suburb.

Angela Blakely, McFarlane’s mother, said she knew few details about the investigation but was encouraged by the news of the arrests.

“I’m just hoping that they do find out who did this to my baby, so they can pay for the crime they committed,” she said.

Blakely urged anyone with information about the killing to talk with police.

McFarlane, 18, of the 8900 block of South Lowe Avenue, was in North Chicago visiting family and friends and was walking with friends when she was shot, according Blakely. McFarlane was walking with friends, one of whom may have been the intended target, Blakely said.

When police responded to a call of shots being fired in the area they found McFarlane fatally shot, police said. They canvassed the area and were tipped off to the men who were taken in for questioning, according to police.

McFarlane was killed just hours after her sister, Destini Warren, 14, had attended President Barack Obama's speech against gun violence Friday.

Blakely, the mother of both girls, said that the family had been anticipating the President's visit to the school where Destini is a freshman.

Leading up to the visit, McFarlane frequently mentioned the recent death of Hadiya Pendleton, 15, whose own shooting death a mile from the Obama's home spurred the President's visit.

"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."

The speech resonated even more when her family got the call from McFarlane's father in North Chicago, who told Destini that her sister was dead, she said.

"It was like real painful," said Destini, her voice choking back tears.

North Chicago officials said McFarlane's killing is the first in the northern suburb since October. The October slaying was the only homicide for the town last year.

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