Murder charges have been filed against a man in connection with the shooting death of Janay McFarlane, 18, who was gunned down Friday just hours after her sister stood on stage with President Barack Obama as he delivered an address against violence.
Jim McPherson, 21, was charged with murder, armed violence, UUW and possession of a controlled substance, according to a spokesman for North Chicago, where the shooting occurred.
“I’m glad just to see that someone has been charged in this senseless homicide,” said North Chicago Mayor Leon Rockingham Jr. He said more details will be released at a press conference that will be scheduled later Wednesday.
Rockingham said he shared his condolences with McFarlane’s family and has stayed in touch with them throughout the investigation. He said he planned on calling her family later this morning to tell them McPherson was charged.
McPherson is scheduled to make an initial appearance in Lake County Circuit Court Wednesday.
McFarlane of the 8900 block of South Lowe in Chicago died Friday night, hours after her little sister, Destini, 14, attended President Barack Obama’s appearance at Hyde Park Career Academy at which he called for measures to reduce violence.
Authorities said McFarlane was shot once in the head around 11:30 p.m. Friday. She was found in an alley in the 1300 block of Jackson Street in the Lake County suburb.
North Chicago police took two “persons of interest” into custody. It was not immediately clear whether the second person would be charged.
The victim’s father, Joe McFarlane, said police told him the assailant was aiming for a man who was walking with his daughter to a store. He said Janay was in North Chicago to visit relatives and to attend a cousin’s performance with a dance group.
“I’m from the streets and from what I can gather, this was definitely gang-related,” McFarlane said. He said his daughter was not in any gang.
The victim attended Hyde Park, left school to have a child and was on track to graduate this June from an alternative school, McFarlane said. He said her baby is four months old and is being cared for by her large and supportive family.
The father of the child had remained involved with Janay and is “very much close to us,” McFarlane said.
Destini was part of a group of teens who sat on the stage behind the president as he spoke at her school, Hyde Park Career Academy, pushing for new gun legislation and paying homage to 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, the South Side girl whose killing made her a symbol of the cost of the violence that’s plagued Chicago.
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