SOUTH DEERING — If someone in the neighborhood was having a barbeque, they asked Janeen Hancock to cook.
“She was infamous for her blackened chicken,” said Golden Richardson, Hancock’s cousin. “You name it, she could cook it.”
Hancock was killed at Merrill Park around 10 p.m. July 23 when gunmen shot at a group of people congregating at the park, according to published reports.
Police told the Chicago Tribune that at least two gunmen, wielding a handgun and a rifle, opened fire from a nearby gangway.
Hancock, 34, was pronounced dead about at Stroger hospital the next day, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Alixi Johnson, 17, was also killed, according to the office. Two others were wounded.
Richardson said Hancock’s death was purely a case of “wrong place at the wrong time” and that she didn’t have any enemies.
Richardson said before Hancock was killed, Hancock had begun developing plans to open a barbeque catering business. Richardson said Hancock wanted to leverage her already well-known cooking skills into a small business of her own, one that could help support her three young children.
“If we had a family barbeque,” said Richardson, “she would be the first one there cooking and cleaning, and she’d be the last one there to make sure everyone got what they needed.”
Richardson said Hancock was not working at the time of her death, but she had recently left a job at a local church to spend more time with her children, ages five, six and ten.