‘We love you, Pinky’: Hundreds release balloons in memory of 7-year-old shot to death at McDonald’s drive-thru

The first grader, who loved Happy Meals with chicken nuggets, was with her father, Jontae Adams, when she was killed. Her father was shot in the torso and was in serious condition at Stroger Hospital.

SHARE ‘We love you, Pinky’: Hundreds release balloons in memory of 7-year-old shot to death at McDonald’s drive-thru
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Johnny Adams, grandfather of Jaslyn Adams (center, black hat), watches as over 100 balloons are released, at a McDonalds located a 3200 West Roosevelt Rd, in the Homan Square neighborhood, Monday, April 19, 2021. It was the scene of a shooting the left 7-year-old Jaslyn dead, and her father Jontae Adams seriously wounded.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

On Monday, Johnny Adams returned to a West Side McDonald’s that he used to manage — but not to walk down memory lane.

Rather, Adams, nearing 50 and now a trucking dispatcher who lives in Bolingbrook, came to attend a memorial for his 7-year-old granddaughter, Jaslyn, who was shot to death while in line at the drive-thru with her father.

His granddaughter’sdeath Sunday, he hoped, was a divine wakeup call.

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“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 towake 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.”

Adams was among the 200 or so who gathered outside the McDonald’s at Roosevelt Road and Kedzie Avenue in the Homan Square neighborhood and released balloons in the girl’s memory.

“We love you Pinky” — family said in unison, referring to Jaslyn by her nickname. “You do your TikTok in heaven,” a relative said,referring to the social media platform to which she liked to post videos of herself being goofy and dancing.

The first grader, who loved Happy Meals with chicken nuggets, was with her father, Jontae Adams, when she was killed. Her father was shot in the torso and was in serious condition at Stroger Hospital.

Police said the shooting, which occurred Sunday afternoon, was believed to be gang-related, and less than three hours later, two people were shot in a car at a Popeyes in Humboldt Park, which investigators believe is connected to the McDonald’s shooting.

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A message left in spray paint on the side of the West Side McDonald’s where Jaslyn Adams was killed Sunday.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

LaWanda McMullen, who is the grandmother of Jaslyn and the mother of Jontae, 28, said her son, a rapper, is involved in gangs.

“I’m not going to sit here and lie and say he wasn’t involved in gangs,”McMullen said. “It was gang related, and just stupidity.

“She was lovable, very joyful, very active and talkative, she was a fun baby and she was very loved by both sides of the family,” McMullen said.

Jaslyn attended Cameron Elementary School, a Chicago Public School.

“It is so heartbreaking to have to gather under these circumstances to lose a life that young for something that she had no idea about is heartbreaking and devastating,” said Ald. Michael Scott Jr. (24th), who attended the memorial.

Scott denounced the “no-ratting” culture that in many instances prevents cooperation with police on such shootings and urged people to speak up.

“If you know your son is up to no good, if you know your grandchild is up to no good, you’ve seen a gun in their room, they’re out at night and they come back and you know they’ve done something they shouldn’t have, we have to as a community have to step up and say enough is enough,” he said.

Johnny Adams said his son has had some trouble in life, but nothing that should lead back his granddaughter.

“That’s his life, thathas nothing to do with her,” he said.

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