It’s really a shame of what the City of Chicago has become. It’s a cesspool of violence and it’s got everyone held hostage its grip. When a Chicago native expresses regrets about returning to their hometown, every Chicago native should be angry. It used to be a great place but with all that’s going on here, it’s a disgrace. Franika Marshall expressed she wished she had not returned back to Chicago and who can blame her.
EarHustle411 sends our condolences to Franika Marshall and her family.
Read more as reported by the Chicago Tribune:
Franika Marshall, expecting twin girls in March, lost her 14-year-old son over the weekend just weeks after returning to a city she had left because of the gun violence.
“I’m numb,” said Marshall, sitting on a dining room chair in her mother’s home in the 5700 block of South Seeley Avenue on Sunday morning, hours after J-Quantae Riles was gunned down on a West Englewood sidewalk.
Surrounded by friends and family, she spoke with her eyes half-closed, tears streaming down her cheeks, her left hand never leaving her baby bump.
She talked about her decision to come home after spending about a month in October with her son and 7-year-old daughter, J-Neyah, in Stafford, Va., a town of about 4,000 about an hour southwest of Washington, D.C.
I moved to Virginia to try to get away from this violence,” she said, slowly sobbing.
“I wish I never came back. I was scared that something was going to happen to my son. We packed everything and left. He was hanging with the wrong people.”
Carolyn Marshall, stood behind her daughter protectively, rubbing her shoulders and holding her hair back as she moaned. Others, all female, sat quietly nearby, with family friend Ida Morgan to her right, clutching Franika Marshall’s right hand.
At 9:30 p.m. Saturday, J-Quantae and three others were walking on a sidewalk in the 2200 block of West 59th Street, near a viaduct lined with colorful murals, when an unknown gunman on foot approached and opened fire at the group, hitting the boy, police said. The others scattered before returning to find J-Quantae’s body on the sidewalk, authorities said. He had been shot in the back and was pronounced dead on the scene.
No one was in custody Sunday afternoon.
Police said J-Quantae had crossed paths with police, but officials said he did not have any gang affiliations.
Franika Marshall had dropped off J-Quantae at a barbershop earlier Saturday evening but cautioned him against hanging out with a 17-year-old boy who she thought was a bad influence.
“Go straight home,” she implored him.
But after getting his hair cut, he joined the 17-year-old, who wanted to go to a party.
Franika Marshall was taking a nap when her doorbell began ringing “like crazy.”
She jumped up and answered the door. A neighbor girl stood outside. She said: “J-Quantae’s been shot.”
Franika Marshall was out the door and headed to the crime scene. “I was just praying the whole time: ‘Please, Lord just let it be something that he can walk away from.”’
She made her way as close as she could to him: “He was lying there. He was dead.”
Police covered his body.
“I’m just mad my son didn’t listen to me and didn’t take my advice,” she said. “He was hanging with the wrong person.
“Everybody loved my son,” she continued, breathing deeply in quick, rhythmic, measured takes, which seemed to help calm her down.
Dozens of friends and relatives gathered in the jaundiced glow of streetlights Sunday night to remember the teen.
Carolyn Marshall parked along a stretch of sidewalk where J-Quantae died, steps away from the viaduct where trains slowly passed over. “This is where it happened. Oh my God. … He was right there,” she said, pointing at a couple of candles flanked by four teddy bears, a few feet away from a mangled string of red crime scene tape that clung to a tree.
She spelled J-Quantae’s name with small candles on the sidewalk while others signed two poster boards bearing the teen’s picture.
J-Quantae, an eighth-grader who attended Henderson Elementary School for only about a week, became the most recent symbol of violence against children in a deadly week for city youth.
At least six other young people were shot last week. Nine-year-old Tyshawn Lee and 20-year-old Kaylyn Pryor were killed, and four others were wounded outside high schools. On Sunday, a 2-year-old boy was shot in the arm with a BB gun.
Three young girls who identified themselves as J-Quantae’s cousins stopped by the spot where he was killed and moved two small brown teddy bears closer to where his body had lain.
The girls said their cousin was happy, friendly, loved rapping but was against street violence. He’d recently created a song called “Put the Guns Down,” they said. “He was doing good,” they said.
As Franika Marshall gets ready to welcome her twins into the world — J-Quantae had decided his new sisters’ names would be Skylar Simone and Sonya Simone — she is wracked with guilt and is trying to make sense of what happened. She plans on staying with her mother for the time being.
“Tell everybody that has a child — don’t be afraid to hold onto them. If you feel like they shouldn’t go out, let them know.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do,” she said softly. “They took my baby without even thinking twice about it.”
Source: Chicago Tribune