Janee Hadan’s infectious smile and positive outlook made other people feel better whenever she walked into a room.
Those attributes made Hadan an excellent preschool teacher, said Jane Happe, executive director of the Educare Center of Omaha.
Hadan had worked at Educare for about two years until she was shot and killed Dec. 15 at a nightclub just west of Ralston.
The 24-year-old was shot about 1:50 a.m. in a Roxbury Plaza parking lot near 108th and Q streets. Officer Michael Pecha, an Omaha police spokesman, said she died that afternoon at Creighton University Medical Center.
Two other men injured in the shooting – Gary M. Lockett, 30, and Brandon D. Patterson, 23 – were recovering from their injuries at Creighton, he said.
A candlelight vigil was held outside Educare on Dec. 16 to honor Hadan. Attendees were encouraged to donate school supplies to the northeast Omaha daycare in the teacher’s name.
“She was a gentle but very energetic person,” Happe said. “Janee just walking into a room made you feel good. She had an infectious smile, and she was really committed to her kids.”
Suzi Hadan said her granddaughter preferred nights spent at home but had gone to the Passion Lounge at 10841 Q St. with two girlfriends on Dec. 14 for a rare night out.
Janee Hadan was the first person out of the door as the three were leaving.
“Her girlfriends told me that everything was fine and that Janee was just walking ahead when someone in a car started shooting,” Suzi Hadan said. “They said Janee started to run, but she ran the wrong way. She was already on the ground when her friends got to her.”
The grandmother said her granddaughter, the mother of a 3-year-old boy, didn’t have any enemies.
“Janee was just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Suzi Hadan said. “She was a very gentle soul who everybody loved. This had to be an accident, because everyone loved her.”
Otoniel Ojeda-Alvarez, the owner of Passion Lounge, said the incident took place outside his club. He said he is in the process of selling the lounge but declined to identify the potential buyer.
“Nothing happened inside at all,” he said. “(The shooting) was not close to us. It was something that happened outside.”
The death is the 44th homicide reported in Omaha this year. The city recorded 39 homicides in 2012 and 37 in 2011.
The Omaha Police Department has not announced any arrests.
Pecha asked that anyone with information call the homicide unit at 402-444-5656 or Crime Stoppers at 402-444-7867, where tipsters remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.