Chicago special ed teacher killed, 2 others hurt in shooting - FOX 32 News Chicago

Chicago special ed teacher killed, 2 others hurt in shooting

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Bullet hole at real estate office where teacher Betty Howard was shot Bullet hole at real estate office where teacher Betty Howard was shot
Activists hand out fliers hoping to get tips to help catch gunman who killed teacher with stray bullet Activists hand out fliers hoping to get tips to help catch gunman who killed teacher with stray bullet
Relatives of murdered teacher share tears outside office where she was shot Relatives of murdered teacher share tears outside office where she was shot
Location of where teacher was inside when she was shot Location of where teacher was inside when she was shot
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - A woman was killed in a shooting at a real estate agency in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood on the South Side, which wounded two other people Thursday evening.

About 5:25 p.m., three people were shot in the 700 block of East 79th Street, police said.

Betty Howard, 58, of the 2200 block of South 14th Avenue in Broadview, was shot in the head and taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 6:12 p.m., according to police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

Relatives of Betty Howard shed tears and hugged one another for comfort outside the real estate office at 79th and Evans Street where the stray bullets pierced the wall and took the life of the 58-year-old mother, sister and grandmother.

Howard's brother, Orlando Long, is a Chicago Police officer.

“When you are working you have to deal with it, that's your job, thick skin, you know we got to be strong for the families when we are out there, but when it hits home it's like words can't even describe the pain that I'm going through,” said Long.

Chicago Police CAPS leaders called Friday’s gathering in the middle of a shutdown stretch of 79Th Street ‘Operation Wake Up,’ asking people to get involved in the community and help solve crimes like this.

“This is a call to action," said CAPS spokesman Glen Brooks. “Today we're coming here and we're stopping everything not to process a crime scene, but to work as a community so the tragedies that affect us don't define us.”

Friday’s activists passed out fliers along 79th Street hoping to generate tips and encourage people to share information if they know something.

“We're asking anyone who has any information please, help this family find their measure of justice. Please come forward,” said Joy McCormack of Chicago Citizens for Change.

Dr. Howard was a beloved special education teacher at Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep, but also worked a second job as a real estate agent. She had stopped in the office to take care of some paperwork, and ten minutes later gunfire erupted outside leaving her family to pick up the pieces.

“To strike someone who's 58 years of age, who's living their life, you know it just makes no sense,” added Long.

Another 58-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman were also shot and treated on the scene, police said. The man suffered a graze wound to his abdomen, and the woman sustained a graze wound to her hand.

Police have not yet released a motive in the shooting. 

Howard is being remembered as a teacher who went above and beyond the job description.

The beloved special education teacher, a innocent victim of gun violence, would travel to homes to teach disabled students — doing whatever it took to help some of the city’s most challenged youth, her principal said Friday.

“She did it willingly, every single day — making home visits, working with kids after school, before school,” Principal D’Andre Weaver told the Chicago Sun-Times. “We truly miss her, we love her and we’re really thinking about her family at this time.”

Howard, who taught at Brooks for seven years, even rode school buses to help out when school aides were absent, Weaver said.

Inside Brooks, grieving students were writing “thank you” letters to Howard and planned — later in the day — to release balloons in her memory.

The Sun Times Media Wire contributed to this story.

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