One year after 7-year-old Jaslyn Adams was shot and killed while sitting inside a car in a McDonald's drive thru on Chicago's West Side, her father is working to change his life and create a lasting memorial to his little girl.
Jaslyn and her father, Jontae Adams, were inside a car at the McDonald's, 3200 W. Roosevelt Rd. on April 18 when two gunman got out of another car and fired shots at their vehicle.
Jaslyn was killed and her father was wounded. Since her death, Jontae has been living with the pain of losing his daughter.
"Every day I wake up, I gotta find the strength you know, I got to go through these phases of being depressed," he said. "I learn how to deal with it."
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Police determined Jontae was likely the target of the shooting - not his daughter.
"The lifestyle that you live definitely does affect you and affect everyone around you...If you’re out there doing things that could bring harm to you and your family," he told NBC 5.
Jontae is now turning his life around, speaking to teens in the community and urging them not to make the same mistakes he did.
"I feel like this is the way my daughter [would] want me to do...until the message is thoroughly out there, I'm just going to keep going," he said.
Meantime, Jaslyn is being memorialized hundreds of miles away in New York. A statue was unveiled to honor her life and other innocent children killed across the country.
Adams says he wishes he could turn back the hands of time and regrets his past life cost him what matters the most.
"To the young guys, if you can get out get out right now while you can, because it’s only two ways, you’re going to be headed and that’s death or jail and that’s honesty," he said.
Three man have been charged in connections with Jaslyn's murder and remain in jail awaiting trial.