On Sunday afternoon, April 18, a seven-year-old girl died, and her father was wounded after they were shot at a McDonald’s drive-thru in Chicago’s Homan Square neighborhood while waiting in their car for takeaway food. According to a source, no arrests have been made. Police suspect the violence is gang-related.
The child, identified as Jaslyn by police, was shot several times in the shooting, which occurred about 4:20 p.m. Chicago police put the wounded girl in a squad car and administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation while she was transported to John H. Stroger Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The child’s father, Jontae Adams, 28, was shot in the torso and transported by Chicago Fire paramedics to Stroger Hospital. He is in stable condition and should recover quickly. He was the intended target, according to police.
Chicago Sun-Times citing police and a McDonald’s employee, revealed that Jaslyn and her father were in a car outside the fast-food restaurant when two people left a gray car and started shooting at Adams’ vehicle.
Jontae Adams has a lengthy criminal background, according to WGN Investigates, with multiple drug arrests dating back to 2014. Adams is currently out on parole for a drug violation from 2018.
According to the newspaper, Adams’ mother, Lawanda McMullen, said her son called her after the gunfire. “He said, ‘Ma, come get me. They just shot my baby,” McMullen remembered.
She said dancing and making TikTok videos were among her granddaughter’s hobbies.
On Monday, Johnny Adams, Jaslyn’s grandfather, returned to a West Side McDonald’s where he was once the manager — but this time it was with sadness to pay tribute to his dead granddaughter at a memorial with 200 others, who released balloons. He hoped people would see her death as a wake-up call, reports the ChicagoSunTimes.
“There was many Jaslyns before my grandbaby, but maybe God is using this one to be the one to make sure we get things taken care of … and if that’s what he needed to do to wake the American people up, or our city people up, then that’s what has to be done,” he said. “If this is the one, then so God be it and hopefully something does change from all this.”
“We love you Pinky” — the family said in unison, referring to Jaslyn by her nickname. “You do your TikTok in heaven,” one relative said, in reference to her love of the social media to which she would post up videos of herself dancing and being silly.
Last year, several children were also shot dead by stray bullets in Chicago, including 9-year-old Jinari Ricks in Cabrini Green, 1-year-old Sincere Gaston in Englewood, 3-year-old Mekhi James in Austin, 10-year-old Lena Nunez in Logan Square, and 13-year-old Amaria Jones.
These incidents caused by gun violence are sad and have not stopped. Still, it is worth remembering that last year, U.S. Attorney General William Barr said the murder rate in Chicago dropped by almost half after the riots that followed the death of African American George Floyd in May.
At a news conference in Chicago on Sept. 9, Barr said that the results of those actions were self-evident, with the rate of murders in Chicago dropping by 50 percent in the previous five weeks of Operation Legend, which former President Donald Trump launched in July.
He also mentioned that compared to July, August saw a 45 percent decrease in murders and a 35 percent decrease compared to June.
Barr referred to the city’s high point of violence prior to Operation Legend, when special forces were sent to the city but had to face Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s and Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown’s negligence. It was reported that homicides in the city had been up 51% over 2019. Over the second weekend of July, more than 60 people had been shot in Chicago, with over a dozen fatalities before the Operation had been launched on July 22.
According to Fox News, Operation Legend was set up shortly after LeGend Taliferro, a 4-year-old African American boy, was killed by a stray bullet in Kansas City, Missouri.
Barr explained that the purpose of the operation had been to make clear that LeGend Taliferro’s life mattered, his name should be remembered, and other innocent victims like him, including the 8-year-old girl killed in Chicago on Labor Day, should not suffer such senseless death.