Teen Shot Dead who Performed At Obama’s Inaugural Celebrations
A 15-year-old honors student who performed at President Obama’s inaugural events in Washington D.C. last week has been fatally shot in a Chicago park.
Hadiya Pendleton had been let out early from school on Tuesday after an exam and was huddling under a canopy in a South Side park to escape the rain when she was shot in the back.
A witness said around 10 students in the park scattered when a man opened fire. Hadiya and another teen collapsed a block away in front of one of the upscale homes lining Oakenwalk Avenue.
Police said gang members were at the park but that Hadiya was not a gang member.
Tragic: Hadiya Pendleton, 15, was shot dead as she stood in a Chicago park with friends on Tuesday. It comes a week after she performed as part of her school band (pictured left in uniform) at Obama’s inauguration
Instead, they believe she was an ‘unintended target’ when the gunman ran to the park and opened fire at 2.20 p.m. He then jumped into a waiting car and drove away, police said.
The shooting occurred just a few blocks from the teenagers’ school, King College Prep, and a mile from the Chicago home of President Obama, neighbours said.
Hadiya, a sophomore at King’s, had attended the inauguration and performed at inaugural events with the school band and the Majorettes dance team, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Missed: Hadiya with a friend in Washington D.C. last week after she performed at inaugural event
Performance: The King College Prep band is pictured in D.C. Hadiya also performed with the drill team
Friends added that she was a volleyball player for the school and well-liked.
Fellow student Janai Bates, 17, said she didn’t know of anyone who had any problems with either of the victims.
‘Lawrence and Hadiya aren’t the type of people to get in a conflict with anybody,’ she said. ‘Everybody loved them, they joked with everybody, they give out that warmth.’
Police confirmed she had no arrest history and ‘by all indications the female victim was an unintended target’.
Scene: She was at this South Side park with friends when a man ran towards them and opened fire
Horror: Hadiya and another injured student stumbled a block and collapsed in front of these homes
But their statement added: ‘Preliminary information indicates that most of the members of the group were gang members.’
Teenagers at the park were not cooperating with police on Tuesday night and investigators do not have any detailed descriptions of the attacker or his vehicle, the Tribune reported.
As of Tuesday evening, no one was in police custody in connection with the shooting.
Roxane Hubbard, who has lived in the neighbourhood for 19 years, told DNAinfo she has never heard of a shooting on her block.
Loss: Hadiya, pictured, died an hour later, while the other teenage victim remains in hospital
Popular: Friends said that the talented student was well-liked at school and ‘gave out warmth’
‘President Obama’s house is like three blocks from here, so this is not typical,’ she said.
Students in the marching band from the school went to Washington, D.C., to take part in the Presidential Inauguration Heritage Music Festival.
They also performed at a presidential brunch and at a political event at Howard University, ABC30 reported. The drill team also performed and 200 students from the school attended in total.