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Death of Hadiya Pendleton

The death of Hadiya Pendleton occurred on January 29, 2013. Pendleton, a 15-year-old girl from Chicago, Illinois, was shot in the back and killed while standing with friends inside Harsh Park in Kenwood, Chicago after taking her final exams.[1] A student at King College Prep High School, she was killed only one week after performing at events for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. First Lady Michelle Obama attended the funeral for Pendleton in Chicago.[2]

Death of Hadiya Pendleton
Vivian Gordon Harsh Park
Date January 29, 2013; 5 years ago (2013-01-29)
Location Kenwood, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Coordinates 41°48′51″N 87°35′44″W / 41.81405°N 87.59556°W / 41.81405; -87.59556Coordinates: 41°48′51″N 87°35′44″W / 41.81405°N 87.59556°W / 41.81405; -87.59556
Cause Mistaken Gang Rivalry
Outcome Death of Hadiya Pendleton
Deaths 1 (Hadiya Pendleton)
Non-fatal injuries 2
Suspect(s) Michael Ward, Kenneth Williams
Charges First degree murder, attempted murder, aggravated discharge of a firearm

President Obama mentioned Pendleton's death in his 2013 State of the Union Address in Congress, where Pendleton's parents, Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton and Nathaniel A. Pendleton Sr., attended as guests.[3] The crime scene is "just a mile away from [President Obama's] Chicago house".[4]

Pendleton's mother, Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton, went onstage but did not speak at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.[5]

Legal proceedingsEdit

Two suspects, Michael Ward, 18, and Kenneth Williams, 20, were arrested and indicted with multiple counts of first degree murder, attempted murder, aggravated discharge of a weapon and many other charges. They told police that Pendleton was not the intended target. The group she was standing with was mistaken for members of a rival gang.[6] A judge denied bail for the two gang members.[7]

At the time of the shooting, Ward, the gunman, was on probation. In January 2012, he pleaded guilty to aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, and was sentenced to two years of probation. Less than three months later, he was arrested and charged with breaking into a car. In July 2012, he was arrested for breaking into a different vehicle. In November 2012, he was arrested for misdemeanor trespassing. During his youth, he had also been arrested numerous times on charges ranging from robbery to battery to marijuana possession, and had spent time on juvenile probation.[8]

As of August 28, 2017, the case was awaiting trial.[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Don Babwin (2013-01-31). "Hadiya Pendleton Dead: Chicago Teen Who Performed At Inaugural Events Fatally Shot". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 2013-01-30. 
  2. ^ Gary Younge (2013-02-09). "Michelle Obama attending Chicago funeral of Hadiya Pendelton". Guardian. Retrieved 2013-02-13. 
  3. ^ Parsons, Christi (2013-02-11). "Hadiya Pendleton's parents to attend State of the Union address". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-02-13. 
  4. ^ "Pain Is 'Indescribable' For Gun Victim Pendleton's Mother". NPR. February 14, 2013. Retrieved April 2, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Chicago mothers who lost children ask DNC for police reform, gun control". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2016-07-28. 
  6. ^ Connor, Tracy; Rafferty, Andrew (2013-02-11). "Two charged with murder in Hadiya Pendleton shooting". NBC news. Retrieved 2013-02-13. 
  7. ^ "Accused Hadiya Pendleton killers denied bail". CBS News. 2013-02-12. Retrieved 2013-02-13. 
  8. ^ Alleged gunman in Hadiya Pendleton slaying was on probation for weapons conviction, Chicago Tribune, February 12, 2013
  9. ^