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15 Year Old Who Performed at Inauguration Shot and Killed on Chicago Street

By Tracy Connor, Staff Writer, NBC News

A 15-year-old girl who performed at President Obama's inauguration last week was shot dead Tuesday while hanging out with friends in bullet-scarred Chicago.

Hadiya Pendleton -- described by a relative as a “walking angel” -- was standing under a canopy in Vivian Gordon Harsh Park when a gunman ran down an alley, opened fire at the group and fled in a white car, police said.

Pendleton was shot in the back but managed to run about a block before she collapsed, officer Laura Kubiak said. She died at the hospital.

A 16-year-old boy was wounded in the 2:20 p.m. incident. Police said Pendleton, who had no criminal record, was probably not the intended target.

“As usual, the bad guy aims, but he never hits the other bad guy . . . He hits the one that hurts the most to lose,” the victim’s godfather, Damon Stewart, 36, who is a police officer, told the Chicago Sun-Times.

“I changed her diapers, I played with her growing up. My heart is broken.”

A sophomore at selective King College Prep High School, Pendleton had traveled to Washington to perform with the school marching band at inaugural events.

Cousin Shatira Wilks said the upcoming trip was the talk of a family gathering around New Year’s, but the young majorette was even more excited about something else: plans to spend the summer studying in Paris.




“She was an honor student all her life,” Wilks said. “Honestly, she was a walking angel. She never once gave her mom any problems ever.”

Wilks said the teen doted on her 10-year-old brother, Junior, who is devastated.

“At Christmas this year, she was designated the elf and she handed out all the gifts,” she recalled.

“She loved rock music. She was always listening and playing to music,” Wilks said,. “What you would usually catching her doing is texting on her phone, like all the teenagers.”

Pendleton last tweeted just before 1 a.m. on Tuesday. “I’m tired,” she wrote.

Many of her classmates changed their Twitter handles to honor her and decried the violence that had claimed an innocent life.

“You are more than loved and missed,” one wrote. “Your laugh smile and silly happy personality has made my day more times than I can remember. Nobody deserves this, especially not you.”

Friends of the young majorette described her as a bubbly, well-liked student.

“She was always smiling and laughing,” said Tyler Genovesi, 14. “She was just a really nice person. … There’s a lot of people crying in school today. It’s very sad. The band is playing for her right now.”

The shooting happened in an upscale neighborhood where residents were shocked.

"I was torn apart," said Robin Hollis, who lives across the street from the park. "I cried when I heard about it."

Pendleton's murder was one of three shooting deaths in the city on Tuesday. More than 40 people have been shot dead in Chicago since the beginning of the year. There were 506 homicides in the city last year, a 16 percent increase even as other large cities, like New York, saw murders drops.

Replies

  • ac2020ac2020 Posts: 5,730 Officer
    Horrible.

    Too bad there werent more "good guys" like this: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57566488-71/man-allegedly-follows-gps-directions-to-wrong-house-shot-dead/
    to protect her.
    The only time republicans and democrats are right is when they're blaming each other. :USA
  • ontheedge5658ontheedge5658 Posts: 2,668 Captain
    Very sad story. Thoughts and prayers to her family and friends. :angel
  • ChuckcChuckc Posts: 4,398 Captain
    Nice ac, very nice.
  • Lucky7Team2Lucky7Team2 Posts: 6,794 Officer
    If that was my daughter in that area with that much going for her she wouldn't be hanging out anywhere. What a waste...:angel
  • ChuckcChuckc Posts: 4,398 Captain
    Truly a very sad story. Perhaps if the shooter were confident that his actions would result in quick and severe punishment he may have decided to handle things differently.
  • capt billcapt bill Posts: 4,035 Officer
    ac2020 wrote: »
    Horrible.

    Too bad there werent more "good guys" like this: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57566488-71/man-allegedly-follows-gps-directions-to-wrong-house-shot-dead/
    to protect her.

    You can thank the Chicago mayor for pushing his anti-american gun laws so in effect
    attachment.php?attachmentid=58515&d=1353007399
  • navigator2navigator2 Posts: 22,511 AG
    More solid proof that strict gun laws work...........NOT!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • capt billcapt bill Posts: 4,035 Officer
    navigator2 wrote: »
    More solid proof that strict gun laws work...........NOT!

    What do you mean? I thought Chicago was the most utopian society in the US because of their gun laws :grin
    attachment.php?attachmentid=58515&d=1353007399
  • navigator2navigator2 Posts: 22,511 AG
    capt bill wrote: »
    What do you mean? I thought Chicago was the most utopian society in the US because of their gun laws :grin

    When the skidmark goes home he is surrounded by Uzis and rocket launchers.....dontcha know. :)
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • ac2020ac2020 Posts: 5,730 Officer
    capt bill wrote: »
    You can thank the Chicago mayor for pushing his anti-american gun laws so in effect

    Worked amazingly well in NY. NY cant even be compared to the asylum it was in the 80s.

    Besides, your comment has nothing to do with the story. It wouldnt have helped in the least. ANother phony hypothetical situation created by an unreasonable gun-owner.
    The only time republicans and democrats are right is when they're blaming each other. :USA
  • capt billcapt bill Posts: 4,035 Officer
    ac2020 wrote: »
    Worked amazingly well in NY. NY cant even be compared to the asylum it was in the 80s.

    Besides, your comment has nothing to do with the story. It wouldnt have helped in the least. ANother phony hypothetical situation created by an unreasonable gun-owner.
    Or did it? Just like the UK homicide rate, more gun restrictions did absolutely nothing to the crime and homicide rate.

    The point of my comment is highly restrictive gun laws have not solved the crime rate in Chicago, there are other socioeconomic reasons that are at the heart of the problem that need attention instead of the gun itself
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  • navigator2navigator2 Posts: 22,511 AG
    ac2020 wrote: »
    Worked amazingly well in NY. NY cant even be compared to the asylum it was in the 80s.

    Besides, your comment has nothing to do with the story. It wouldnt have helped in the least. ANother phony hypothetical situation created by an unreasonable gun-owner.

    Nice strawman, is that a red bandana or is he wearing an ascot? He was perfectly dead on. Removing guns and/or restricting them won't keep them out of the hands of psychos and thugs. All it will do is enable the illegals to have the upper hand in every situation.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • King_MeKing_Me Delray Beach, FLPosts: 6,540 Admiral
    Hell, this mother just lost her 4th son to a shooting just a few days ago, all shot in the Chicago area -

    Fourth sibling from same Chicago family killed by gun violence

    Ronnie Chambers, 33, is the fourth child Shirley Chambers has lost to gun violence. She has no more.

    January 27, 2013|By Peter Nickeas and Rosemary Regina Sobol, Chicago Tribune reporters

    After Shirley Chambers lost her third child to gun violence in 2000, she said she felt sadder for her surviving son, Ronnie, than she did for herself.

    "I only have one child left," Chambers told the Tribune at the time, "and I'm afraid that (the killing) won't stop until he's gone too."


    Chambers' worst fears apparently were realized early Saturday, when police said a man named Ronnie Chambers, 33, was fatally struck when a gunman or gunmen opened fire on a van Chambers was riding in just after it arrived in the 1100 block of South Mozart Street.

    Family friends and neighbors confirmed Chambers was the fourth and last child of Shirley Chambers, who could not be reached for comment Saturday.

    "He was the last one," said family friend Laverne Smith, 30. "I know she's hurting."

    Smith said it's unthinkable this could have happened again to the family.

    "It's ridiculous," Smith said. "We need to get the guns off the street and build a good life for our babies. We need to really get together and stop fighting."

    Smith, who lives near where the shooting occurred, said she heard loud gunfire about 2 a.m. and ran outside to find Ronnie Chambers shot in the head. She said he died in her arms.

    Smith said she also knew Chambers' sister, LaToya Chambers, and had grown up with them in the Cabrini-Green neighborhood on the Near North Side. LaToya was a classmate, about two years ahead, at Edward Jenner School, she said.

    LaToya was killed at age 15 in the lobby of a Cabrini-Green high-rise April 26, 2000, during an argument between her boyfriend and a 13-year-old boy, who was later convicted.

    Her brothers Carlos and Jerome also were gunshot victims.

    Carlos, then 18, was shot and killed just after Thanksgiving 1995 at the corner of Jackson Boulevard and State Street, apparently by a boy with whom he'd had an argument.

    Jerome was shot and killed at age 23 on July 26, 2000. He had reportedly been standing at a pay phone in the 400 block of West Chicago Avenue when a maroon van pulled up and its occupant opened fire.

    According to a 2000 Tribune story, Ronnie Chambers had tattoos on his forearms to remind him of his dead siblings: a crucifix with a ribbon draped across it commemorated Carlos, a tombstone with a crucifix was for Jerome and another tombstone with a cross honored LaToya.

    "They say you can't outrun death, but I can try to dodge it," Ronnie said then. "I don't even try to live day by day anymore; it's more like second by second."



  • Conchy CrackerConchy Cracker Posts: 10,454 Officer
    navigator2 wrote: »
    More solid proof that strict gun laws work...........NOT!


    With that logic she would be alive if they had no gun laws.

    Sorry but it doesn't work that way.
  • SWFL_F1sh0nSWFL_F1sh0n Posts: 17,248 Officer
    navigator2 wrote: »
    When the skidmark goes home he is surrounded by Uzis and rocket launchers.....dontcha know. :)

    He's surrounded by those at work to.
  • roto7777roto7777 Posts: 2,545 Captain
    Tragic, but no gun laws would have saved her
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • PONCEPONCE Posts: 5,946 Admiral
    The bad guys will gt guns one way or another-thats realville.
  • dstockwelldstockwell Posts: 13,813 AG
    Lets just fence in Chicago and turn it into a big prison.
    It is not the responsibility of the United States to solve the problems of other countries.
  • bullgatorbullgator Posts: 1,940 Officer
    ac2020 wrote: »
    Worked amazingly well in NY. NY cant even be compared to the asylum it was in the 80s.
    Did NY have lax gun control in the 80's? No, NY has always had strict gun control. Gun control laws don't effect the murder rate because murderers don't care about your gun control laws.
  • capt billcapt bill Posts: 4,035 Officer
    bullgator wrote: »
    Did NY have lax gun control in the 80's? No, NY has always had strict gun control. Gun control laws don't effect the murder rate because murderers don't care about your gun control laws.

    Dont use logic and facts, he'll start thinking you're a gun nut
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  • navigator2 wrote: »
    More solid proof that strict gun laws work...........NOT!

    X2
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