The father of a 25-year-old woman fatally wounded by a stray bullet in Chicago Feb. 5 was reportedly speaking to his daughter on the phone when the incident happened.
Aaren O’connor was sitting in her car after coming home from work and talking to her sister when the line went dead, WLS reported.
David, her father, said he called to check if everything was ok and Aaren complained of pain in her head. But neither of them realized what had happened.
“I didn’t realize at the time but I was just having the last conversation with my daughter,” he told WBBM.
David only found out about the stray bullet after a roommate went to check on Aaren and found her unconscious in her car.
Aaren was taken to a local hospital for treatment but died Feb. 7.
She recently moved to the city to take up a new job as a brand manager and be closer to her boyfriend.
“I pleaded with her when she told me she was going to go to Chicago,” David told WLS. “I said there are much safer places for you to be.”
In the first eight days of February, the city has witnessed 17 homicides.
Police said they have a good lead based on surveillance footage of the shooting. However, nobody had been taken into custody as of Feb. 8.
Aaren’s co-workers have set up a GoFundMe page; they plan to use the money raised to establish a program to help at-risk youth.
“One initial idea is to fund support for at-risk Chicago youth who want to advance their education by participating in a study abroad program (Aaren loved to travel and met her boyfriend Carlos during her time abroad),” the GoFundMe page reads.
“Our long-term goal is to develop an after school program at a community center in Aaren’s name where Chicago’s youth can come together to receive the caring and resources they need to choose a non-violent path and open their hearts to others,” her colleagues added on the site.
The page as raised over 28,000 as of Feb. 10.
Aaren’s father welcomed the initiative.
“It gives her life meaning, and I so appreciate it,” David told WBBM.