Teen Whose Dad Died Shielding Her: ‘I Am Going to Make Him Proud’

Michael Tingling was looking forward to his daughter’s graduation this spring. 

Michael Tingling
Michael Tingling NBC Chicago

“I am going to make him proud,” Masharah Tingling told the Chicago Tribune after her father, Michael Tingling, died Wednesday protecting her from an ex-convict during a sidewalk confrontation on the city’s North Side.

Her father was looking forward to the eighth-grader’s graduation this spring from Chicago Math and Science Academy, said a friend, Carmen Preister. 

Preister told the Tribune that Tingling would tell neighbors, thumping his chest, “My girl is going to graduate. It won’t be the same around here anymore.”

Masharah said her father’s death has bolstered her plans to become a veterinarian.

“My dad always encouraged me to believe in my dreams,” she told the Tribune. “I am going to make him proud.”

Earlier:

A Chicago man has been arrested and charged with murder and a hate crime in connection with a sidewalk altercation that led to the death of a man who was trying to protect his daughter, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Joseph Firek, 59, who police say has a long criminal record, reportedly leered at Michael Tingling’s 15-year-old daughter, Masharah, as the father and daughter walked home from her school about 2 p.m. Wednesday.

The Tribune said Tingling pulled his daughter behind him when Firek stopped in their path and asked, “What, (N-word)?”

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