CHICAGO, IL – Just last week, 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton performed at President Barack Obama’s inauguration in Washington, D.C. This week, her family is planning her funeral.
Hadiya is the latest victim in Chicago’s notorious gun violence. She had just finished a final exam, and was standing under a park canopy with a group of friends just a mile away from the president’s Chicago home trying to avoid the rain.
That’s when witnesses say a gunman came out from behind a fence and opened fire. Sadly, Hadiya was fatally shot in the back. Police believe the suspect may have mistaken the girls for a rival gang.
“You look at her. You look at how she talked about her future. She took her final exams. She had dreams,’ said Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago. ‘And this gang banger, this punk. They took it away from Hadiya. And in my view, they took it away from the city of Chicago.”
This month alone, 42 people including Hadiya, have been murdered in Chi-Town, making this the deadliest January the city has seen in a decade. Last year’s statistics: 506 people murdered in Chicago.
In the meantime, a $14,000 reward has been posted to try to catch Hadiya’s killer.