It’s a story that’s drawn national attention: the murder of innocent bystander, Hadiya Pendleton. The 15-year-old honor student from Kenwood was gunned down in gang crossfire Tuesday.
Less than two weeks ago, the teen performed at President Obama’s Inauguration. This week, her family is planning her funeral.
On Tuesday night, Hadiya was shot in the back while standing with a group of friends at a park.
Police believe the gunman may have mistaken the group as a rival gang.
Pastors beefed up reward money for information leading to the killer. Pastor Roosevelt Watkins of Pastors United for Change says an extra $6,000 increases the reward money to $30,000.
“Our hearts are heavy that Hadiya Pendleton, who has such a promising future with so much going for her, dreams, goals and ambition has been cut short,” Maxwell said. A shining star has fallen from the sky. Hadiya was a perfect example of a child who does all the right things, and was on the right track, but her life was cut short. She was an innocent victim of senseless gun violence. This senseless violence has to address and murderer must be apprehended.”
Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and other officials were also at Friday’s news conference. They stood together at Hadiya Pendleton’s high school, King College Prep and organized a march to the park where the girl was shot.
“Anyone who can so callously open fire on people is a stone cold killer,” McCarthy said, urging people on the streets to set aside the twisted perception that shielding a killer is “snitching.” McCarthy blasted those who think there’s honor in hiding a murderer.
Chicago’s top cop wants to launch a public awareness campaign to convince young people that it’s not wrong to turn someone in to police.
Pendleton’s family continues to grieve, but say they’re getting plenty of support from their friend and community.
Funeral arrangements are set for February 9th and will be held at Greater Harvest Baptist Church 5141 S State.