Just two days ago, I was writing about the mother who lost her fourth and last child to gun violence in Chicago. Unfortunately, today’s story is not all that different. Fifteen year old Hadiya Pendleton, a sophomore, was gunned down yesterday afternoon after she left school. Just last week Pendleton and her classmates were performing at President Obama’s inaugural parade with her band and drill team.
On Tuesday afternoon, Pendleton who attended King College Prep, one of Chicago Public School’s top 10 selective enrollment programs, was dismissed from school early after taking exams all day. Deviating from what was believed to be her normal schedule, Pendleton and a group of her friends went to a park blocks from her school. It was raining so Pendleton and her friends took shelter under a nearby canopy. That’s when, the police say, a boy or man jumped the fence, ran toward the group and started shooting. Afterward he got in a car and left.
A couple of other students were taken to the hospital with injuries. In addition to the group of Pendleton’s friends, there were several gang members in the park at the time. When the police arrived on the scene, the people who remained were uncooperative with their investigation.
Students, some of whom described Pendleton, a majorette and volleyball player, as warm and friendly, surrounded the hospital along with her parents.
**Update** The Chicago Tribune is reporting that a presidential spokesperson spoke out about the tragedy:
Presidential spokeman Jay Carney, asked about Hadiya’s death, said it was a “terrible tragedy” any time a young person is struck down “with so much of their life ahead of them.”“The president and first lady’s thoughts and prayers are with the family of Hadiya Pendleton,” he said. “All of our thoughts and prayers are with her family.”