Friends and loved ones gathered Saturday to remember a Chicago teacher who was the unintended victim of a gang shooting on the South Side last week.
Betty Howard, a teacher at Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy, was shot while sitting in a real estate office in the city’s Chatham neighborhood.
On Saturday, with a packed church, she was remembered as a “remarkable woman who did remarkable things.”
Overcome with emotion, it was painful for Leola Long to leave funeral services having buried her third child and only daughter.
“She’s the third child to be buried in three years,” Long said.
As hugs and tears were shared, Saturday was a day loved ones say came too early.
“It’s really sad because it didn’t have to happen,” said coworker Eugene Hazzard.
Police said the shooting was sparked by a gang dispute outside the real estate office. The bullet came through the building and struck her in the head. Two others -- a 58-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman -- suffered graze wounds in the spray of bullets. They were treated at the scene and left to go on their way.
Howard was remembered as a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, and special education teacher.
“Betty was a giving person, all about service, doing anything for anyone,” said her brother Roosevelt Long.
On Saturday, the school honored Howard's life with a plaque and scholarship fund to help students in need--a gift Howard’s family called long lasting and most fitting.
“She was education,” said longtime coworker Dr. Dushon Brown. “She was education at its best.”
Brown says she's just hoping Howard’s death is not in vain.
“I don’t want them to forget,” she said. “I want her legacy to live on and I don’t want them to stop until they find who did this.”
Family members earlier this week increased the reward for information in Howard’s slaying.
Her family said Monday that they're offering a $7,000 reward thanks to donations from the community.