Funeral held for Janay McFarlane, South Side teen murdered in North Chicago

Janay McFarlane

February 22, 2013 3:05:55 PM PST
Family and friends mourned the loss of Janay McFarlane at the funeral for the teenager who was gunned down last week.

Relatives of McFarlane arrived at True Vine Church, 6720 S. Stewart, on Friday morning, their grief overwhelming as they looked upon their loved one for a final time.

"This baby deserves more than to be in a casket today," said Rev. Jesse Jackson. "We the people have to fight back."

McFarlane was born 18 years ago, on Christmas Eve, and died the day after Valentine's Day. Friday, loved ones celebrated every day in between.

"She's smiling at us," said friend Latonia Watkins. "This is a celebration. This ain't a sad moment. God called her home for a reason."

McFarlane leaves behind a three-month-old son, Jayden. and other relatives, including 14-year-old sister Destini Warren.

Last Friday, Warren stood behind President Barack Obama as he delivered his speech on gun violence in Hyde Park.

"She became my best friend and my role model," said Warren. "But now that she's gone, I don't even know what to do. Like I'm dying inside."

McFarlane was shot and killed in north suburban North Chicago. She was the unintended victim, police say, of a gunman.

Charged in her death is 21-year-old Jim McPherson.

"I want to thank God for giving me the strength not to end up behind bars with him," said father Herbert McFarlane.

"People are talking about gun control. Don't get fooled. It's self-control. You have to have self-control," said Darryl Jackson, a friend of the family.

Fighting back tears, friends of McFarlane paid tribute through dance.

Many more filled the church that was standing-room only.

"We've lost a very intelligent young lady that had a bright future ahead of her, that was looking forward to going to college to be something for her and her son," said friend Deandre Gordon.