Janay McFarlane was shot once in the head late Friday, the same day her sister had sat on the stage behind President Barack Obama’s speech for gun control legislation.
She was a mother of a 3-month-old boy who was in a Chicago suburb visiting friends and family the night she died.
Police said two people are being questioned in connection with McFarlane’s death, but no charges have been filed.
“I really feel like somebody cut a part of my heart out,” Angela Blakely, Mcfarlane’s mother, said.
Blakely said the bullet that killed Mcfarlane was meant for a friend.
Hours earlier, Mcfarlane’s 14-year-old sister was feet from Obama at Hyde Park Career Academy, where he spoke about gun violence and paid tribute to Hadiya Pendleton, the 15-year-old honor student fatally shot last month in a South Side park. Police have said it was a case of mistaken identity, and two people have been charged.
Pendleton’s death was one of more than 40 homicides in Chicago in January, a total that made it the deadliest January in the city in more than a decade. Pendleton, a drum majorette, had recently performed during Obama’s inauguration and the slaying happened about a mile from his Chicago home.
Blakely told the newspaper that Janay Mcfarlane had been affected by Pendleton’s death.
“She always said after Hadiya Pendleton got killed, `Momma that’s so sad,'” Blakely said. “She was always touched by any kid that got killed. She was always touched by mothers who couldn’t be there for their babies because they were gone.”
Mcfarlane was supposed to graduate from an alternative school this spring, Blakely said, and wanted to go into the culinary arts.
“I’m just really, truly just trying to process it — knowing that I’m not taking my baby home anymore,” Blakely said.