The father of a Roberto Clemente Community Academy High School student killed Friday spent Monday morning putting up a memorial to his daughter at the North Side school. Later that morning, he remembered one of the last things he did with his daughter.
It was Friday afternoon, Jose Colon Jr. recalled, and he and his daughter Frances were watching President Barack Obama speak at Hyde Park Academy on the city's South Side. The topic of that speech: The same kind of gun violence that would end his daughter's life later that night.
"She said, 'About time they do something with the gun thing,' " he said, adding that Obama and other elected officials need to "make these people more afraid" to shoot each other by making tougher penalties.
The 46-year-old man wasn't optimistic the president's proposals would come to fruition soon enough.
"It's not over," he said. "This is just the beginning. Wait until summer comes along."
Frances Colon, of the 2900 block of West Armitage Avenue, was shot about 7:05 p.m. Friday in the 1100 block of North Pulaski Road, according to police. She was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 8:16 p.m.
Colon is the third student at Roberto Clemente to be killed this school year, said Clemente's principal Marcey Sorensen.
Rey Dorantes, 14, of the 2400 block of West Augusta Boulevard, a freshman at the school, was shot and killed on Jan. 11. His death came about a month after another Clemente student, Jeffrey Stewart, 16, of the 5200 block of West Race Avenue, was shot and killed on Dec. 9.
"I'm sick of it," said Sorensen. "How many more kids have to die before we do something?"
The school has mobilized a crisis team to support students and staff. Despite the deaths, Sorensen said the students have been coping well.
"Our kids live in fear and because of that, they are incredibly resilient," she said.
Colon was a senior who was preparing to attend college, said Sorensen. She was previously selected as the student of the month, a recognition for students who display good behavior, Sorensen said.
Clemente sophomore Noel Roman said this morning he's not surprised his high school has had to deal with the recent string of fatal shootings.
"Considering the neighborhood, no," he said. "It's barely getting better."
Roman said he didn't know Colon personally, but they shared some friends.
"It's like, 'I was walking with her one day and now she's gone,' " he recalled one of his buddies telling him.
Colon, who refers to the president by his first name, repeated that he doesn't want Obama to forget about the victims of gun violence like his daughter who don't always grab national headlines.
On Monday afternoon, from the porch of his Humboldt Park residence, he pulled out a holiday card from the Obama campaign.
"I want you to let them know," he told this reporter, pointing to the first lady's signature. "She knows me."