Slain West Side Mom Had Moved Home to Chicago For Fresh Start

By Erica Demarest on July 9, 2013 10:03am 

NORTH LAWNDALE — Georgina Randall had just moved back to Chicago in May, hoping to make a fresh start with her two kids, her family said.

The 30-year-old mom had been living with her mother and children in Missouri, but returned home with plans to go back to school and pursue a career in criminal justice.

But on Monday night, Randall’s dreams were cut short when her boyfriend gunned her down in front of her kids, her family said.

Randall had been standing on a front porch with relatives near her childhood home in the 1600 block of South Drake Avenue, her family said. Sometime after 5 p.m., Randall and her boyfriend got into a verbal argument.

"He was saying they needed to do something, but I don’t know what it was,” said one family member, who asked to remain anonymous.

About 5:20 p.m., the boyfriend pulled a gun and opened fire.

“He almost shot me in the leg, but he missed and then started shooting at my mom,” said Randall’s 7-year-old daughter, Lanayaha.

As Randall was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital — where she was pronounced dead at 5:45 p.m. — a SWAT team swarmed the block. Neighbors thought the shooter, who lived a couple houses down, had run back home. The man actually fled to suburban Bellwood, where was he apprehended by Bellwood police later that night. Charges are pending.

“He just lost it, and we don’t know why,” the relative said. "They cared about each other a lot — at least that’s what I thought. I was really, really shocked that he would do that.”

Randall started dating the man after she moved home in May. He seemed like a nice, quiet guy who kept to himself, her relatives said. To their knowledge, he had had never laid a hand on Randall.

Since her move, she spent most days looking for a job, catching up with family or taking her kids to the Lincoln Park Zoo and local playgrounds.

“She lived for her family,” said Shonique Sanders, 29, a close friend. “Family is what moves her. That means the most to her… She was just a real sweet person — down to earth, living, trying to get her life together.”

Relatives described Randall as “joyous” and “goofy.” She’d do anything to make you laugh, even if it meant making jokes at her own expense.

“Your first impression of her would be like, ‘Oh my God, she is so crazy and funny,’” a relative said. “She loved cracking jokes and she was just real goofy — young at heart.”

On Tuesday, relatives said they were still trying to process the shooting. They had known the boyfriend, one of their neighbors, for years. And their South Lawndale block was usually quiet — save for kids yelling as they played outside.

“I pray that God covers [the boyfriend] and gives him peace of mind because there’s no telling what’s in his head,” a relative said. “And I pray for his family. This is rough for us, but I know it’s rough for his family as well.

“They’re beautiful people … That’s the shocking part for him to do that. I was just like, ‘Wow, where did that come from?’”

Reporter Emily Morris contributed.

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