2 men charged in Chicago teen’s murder

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Two young men are charged in the shooting death of 15-year old Hadiya Pendleton.

Kenneth Williams, 20, and Micheail Ward, 18, are both charged with first degree murder, attempted murder, and aggravated battery with a firearm. They are due in bond court Tuesday morning.

Speaking at a news conference Monday night, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said the motive for the shooting was retaliation. The suspects were trying to get back at rival gang members for shooting Williams in July, but they targeted the wrong group, said McCarthy.

“Micheail Ward confessed,” said McCarthy. “Hadiya was not the intended target.”

On Jan. 29th, Hadiya was at Harsh Park with several teens huddled under an awning to escape the rain. Police say the gunman hopped a fence and opened fire. Hadiya was fatally shot. Two other teens were injured.

The sophomore at King College Prep had recently performed in Washington D.C. at events for President Obama’s inauguration. Her death focused national attention on Chicago’s gun violence.

Williams and Ward were pulled over near 67th and King Dr. late Saturday night. Despite a $40,000 reward for information leading to an arrest, police say people with useful information about the shooting did not come forward. McCarthy said aggressive police work and surveillance led investigators to the suspects.

Earlier Saturday, Hadiya was laid to rest. Hundreds of people, including First Lady Michelle Obama, packed a Southside church for the funeral.

Hadiya’s parents were invited to attend President Obama’s State of the Union on Tuesday. The President plans to return to Chicago on Friday to address gun violence.

Ward is currently on probation for a previous weapons conviction. McCarthy called this case another example of why Illinois needs mandatory minimum sentencing for illegal weapons charges.

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  • messyjacksonjr

    Whats funny is the day that this young lady was killed,police stated to the media that the suspect apparently thought that the group that was fired upon was mistaken for a RIVAL GANG.and at the press conference McCarthy stated that the suspect confessed to shooting at people that he mistook as a RIVAL GANG.Too perfect smells fishy to me.Black gangbangers dont use that terminology when referring to RIVALS,being a retired gangmember for some odd years i know that this sounds like some framework,on top of that the suspeted shooter isnt new to the system,after 24 hour of interrogations he gives a full confession knowing that CPD really didnt have a clue and he told them everything,come on people wake up

  • messyjacksonjr

    that term RIVAL GANG has been set in place by the CPD in this situation from the minute this situation occured and is stil being carried out.What if there there was some other motive behind this horrific event thathasnt surfaced?This was a volleyball team,mainly Girls,who mistakes Girls for gangbangers?There are questions that need to be asked and if we dont ask then our tax tax dollars will put people in jail then pay them tons of millions when they get exonerated.Take a look at Hadiyah"s faher interview when he learns that charges have been filed and he learnes that his dauther was mistaken for a RIVAL GANG.

  • Chi town's finest

    I agree with messyjacksonjr. Do they have the right suspects in custody? After CPD beat and interrogate you they will get a confession out of someone.Just having a criminal rap sheet your guilty. Besides the witnesses that where present did they point them out in a line up? It's sad how these are or where her so called friends and every one has no clue. I'm just saying I was born and raised on the South Side I know how many black men are wrongly convicted? If they are the gun men I hope they get whats coming to them but what ever the outcome is it won't bring her back. It seems to me as they holler gun control but they want us to keep killing each other. Cost the tax payers less. SMH at CPD. This case was so publicly recoginized but what about all the other fallen youth that lost they life I see a little favoritism IJS,

  • Joe Public

    This would be a very good time to renew the efforts to bring back the death penalty for crimes liek this and in specific cases like this death by firing squad would be appropriate.

    • pagan69

      Death by firing squad has always been the preferred manner to die as it is equated to a Hero’s Death for Dictators and their kind. Hanging on the other hand is the death of a coward and in no way associated with any Noble Deeds.

  • COncerned Gun Owner

    I think we should also hold the Judge, the prosecuter and his lawyer, all for putting him back on the street.

    This was not an issue that could have been cured by gun control, there was no assult weapon, there was an individual with a gun that should have already been in jail.

    If you are not going to make it painful to do a crime, crime will exist.


    Thanks for your comment messyjacksonjr. We all want justice for this beauitful girl, being from Chicago and hearing about all of the killings there, just mind blowing. I hope people are watching this police department very closely. Be very careful when you try to underestimate the police in Chicago……"The LAPD" need I say more? Just google LAPD falsifys. Nufff said?

  • pagan69

    We don’t have a Gun Safety Issue (the new buzz word for gun control) what we have here is a complete inability and failure of the Criminal Justice System to control criminals. The gangs of Chicago have been allowed to fend for themselves for so long that they are now uncontrollable. It was bad enough when they were penned up in the projects, but with the politicians tearing down the projects so their real estate developer buddies could develop the now pricey and desirable land for the wealthy, the gangs were shipped to a neighborhood near you.

  • gr8huntress

    I just pray for the sake of family and the city that this time a “Horse is Horse” and this brings some closure to this sad ordeal.

  • sharong4

    I have to agree with Concerned Gun Owner. Those who let him back out on the street should be held accountable. Look at the boy that had 19 arrests. What does that tell you? They don't do jail time and because of some of their ages, they get away with it. Send some of these youngsters down there with the real hardened criminals. If and when they make it out, they might have a better outlook on life.

    • tiredofthismess

      totally agree, the NRA's being attacked for all the wrong issues we do need better gun laws in place but thats not what causing the violence in chicago. We need to take a better look at our court systems. There are plenty individuals we all know that should not be walking around on the streets, but they are because the criminals are walkinfg all over the judgement systems . they are not afraid of the slap on the wrist their receiving. the violence can come under control with tougher punishment and more involvement from the courts and the communities. until we all work together, this is the mess we created, we made our bed so now we must lie in it.