“Janet was just a baby. She was just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Juanita Basilio in tears.
Basilio is the mother of 16-year-old Janet Francis, and Sunday night, Francis became another victim of gun violence. “Why would they even hurt her, knowing they see her begging for her life,” her mother said. “She’s just a child. She’s only 17. That’s my baby.”
Police said Francis and 28-year-old Oliver Portieles were parked along Northwest 38th Avenue and 206th Street when a gunman opened fire on their vehicle, around 8:30 p.m. Portieles took off heading northbound, crashing into a mailbox and some parked cars. Witnesses worked to help Portieles and Francis, but both succumbed to their wounds. “All we hear is a couple of gunshots, and we turn around to take cover,” said witness Joselyn Aguilera. Police swarmed the area after the shooting, but the subject was gone. Now, Francis’ family has been left broken due to gun violence. “Typical teenager — likes to look cute, likes to do her hair — you know, typical,” said Amonise Snipes, Francis’ cousin. “She could be your sister, your cousin, typical young girl trying to just live.” Falling to her knees crying, Basilio said, “My baby’s smart. She knew how to sing. She did everything a mother would want her daughter to do.”
THE moments i had with her was when i had went to water rapids with my family and my mom and we were in a little car and we were all on the floor.