Hours after Destini Warren, 14, attended President Barack Obama’s speech against gun violence Friday, her family learned of a terrible irony.
Destini’s sister, Janay McFarlane, 18, was the victim of the very thing that the President was condemning at Hyde Park Academy in Chicago.
McFarlane, of the 8900 block of South Lowe Avenue, was visiting friends and family in North Chicago when she was shot on her way to a store in the northern suburb, her family said.
She was pronounced dead at 11:30 p.m., shortly after sustaining a single gunshot wound to her head, according to the Lake County Coroner’s office.
North Chicago Police officials did not return calls for comment Saturday.
Angela 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.”
Blakely said that McFarlane was still trying to make sense of the violence that claimed Pendleton’s life. She kept questioning why someone so innocent could die from violence.
McFarlane, who attended Hyde Park Academy before she became pregnant with her son Jayden — 3-months-old — and dropped out, was excited that her younger sister was able to attend Obama’s speech.
Destini said that during the days before the President arrived to Chicago, her sister would come by and talk to her about the visit. Destini said she last spoke to her sister on Thursday night before the younger girl went to sleep.
“She was like 'Just tell me how it's going to be.' She was excited for me,” said Destini. “ (The violence) was really wracking her because she was talking to my momma about Hadiya.”
Destini said she was sitting on a bench about two rows behind the President on stage listening as he spoke about gun violence.
“I could relate to it because that's been happening to a lot of people,” said Destini.
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.
Since President Obama's speech on Friday, two people have been killed and six injured by guns in Chicago.
Freelance reporter Ruth Fuller contributed
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