Grandmother killed after being caught in crossfire while getting food

Saturday, May 18, 2019
Grandmother killed after being caught in crossfire
A grandmother was shot and killed in a crossfire as reported by Dann Cuellar during Action News at 11 on May 17, 2019.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- It is a tragedy that for some is becoming all too common. A woman, in this case, a grandmother, shot and killed in crossfire. Her family says she's dead only because she insisted on going out to get her little granddaughter something to eat.

Deborah McClendon, 42, was shot and killed after a violent shootout on the 2200 block of North 23rd just after 10:15 p.m. Thursday night.

McClendon's family says she was coming home from the Hong Kong Chinese takeout on the block when gunfire rang out.

"She got caught in the crossfire coming home from the Chinese store all because her granddaughter wanted something to eat," said her daughter, Michelle McClendon.

No arrests have been made. Police say there was another shooting nearby on Susquehanna near 18th where a 26-year-old was critically shot in the chest and a 26-year-old woman was shot twice in the ankle.

Shootings are so frequent here that residents often worry about getting shot when they step out of their houses.

"You can't go to the store around here, you can't do nothing around this way," said McClendon.

Sadly, residents say it's become a way of life for them.

"Everybody around here is spooked," said family friend, Shelly Allen. "And it's not just because of that murder, there are too many murders around here and it's considered to me like the whole block, you can't even go out of your house."

"That's no way to live. Who wants to live like that," she adds.

And now, 16-year-old Michelle, a 10th grader, is trying to figure out how she will get along without her mother.

"Doing what she wants me to do. She wanted me to finish school, graduate and just live a life," she said.

A family trying to figure out how they will even pay for Deborah McClendon's funeral.

Despite her grief, McClendon's other daughter, Nikiya, went to her high school prom tonight, but only because her mother wanted her to go.

She said she went in her memory.