Maggie: Fifteen-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was shot in the back last Tuesday as she and some friends ducked out of the rain on their way home from school. Police say the gunman may have assumed the students were rival gang members trespassing on his turf.
Derielle Pinckney: She was a sweetheart. She touched so many of us.
Maggie: Damon Stewart is Hadiya’s godfather and a Chicago policeman.
Damon Stewart: Combination wrong place, wrong time. One individual walks in and somebody comes following, shooting. Nothing you can do about it.
Hadiya Pendleton: Hi, my name is Hadiya.
Maggie: Hadiya Pendleton had a lot of hope. She was so against gangs that she even produced this video back in sixth grade.
Hadiya: So many children out there are in gangs, and it is your job as students to say no to gangs and yes to a great future.
Stewart: She was a good girl who stayed away from any and everything that she thought could knock her off her track, and she seemed to be on the track to great things.
Maggie: Hadiya was part of the majorette squad from Chicago’s King College Prep High School that marched for President Obama during last month’s inaugural celebration.
Now the White House is reacting to the honor student’s murder.
Jay Carney: The president and first lady’s thoughts and prayers are with the family of Hadiya Pendleton.
Maggie: And late last week, Chicago’s mayor said he is ordering 200 police officers on desk jobs to street duty in an attempt to saturate gang-infested neighborhoods with law enforcement.
Chicago saw record violence last year, reporting more than 500 murders. And just since January 1st of this year, there has already been more than one hundred shootings. Many of those victims are young people.
Mayor Emanuel Rahm: As we grieve for Hadiya, we need to work together to protect our greatest resource, the children of the city of Chicago.
Maggie: Hadiya was killed about a mile from President Obama’s Chicago home.
A few days ago, someone posted a petition at a White House website, urging the president to attend her funeral as a way, says the petition, to ‘keep the anti-gun violence movement engaged.’
The White House has said it will respond to any petition that collects at least 100,000 signatures.
Maggie Rulli, Channel One News.
- Who was Hadiya Pendleton?
- Why has her death become a national story?
- Why is it ironic that Hadiya was killed in a gang-related shooting?
- What effect, if any, will Hadiya’s death have on the gun control debate?
- How has her death changed the strategies of the Chicago police department?