Mayor Rahm Emanuel met Wednesday night with relatives and classmates of the honor student who was slain in the Kenwood neighborhood on Tuesday, a week after she had performed with her school band at President Barack Obama’s inauguration in Washington.
CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports the victim, 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, was taking shelter from the rain with a group of 10 to 12 teenagers under a canopy in Vivian Gordon Harsh Park on the 4500 block of South Oakenwald Avenue around 2:30 p.m., when someone jumped a fence, ran up to them, and opened fire.
Police have said neither Hadiya nor the people she was with were in a gang, but it is believed the shooter mistook someone in the crowd for a rival gang member, and shot at them.
Coincidentally, Hadiya had appeared in a public service announcement about gang violence in late 2008.
Earlier Wednesday, the mayor, in response to questions about murders and violent crime, said “we’re gonna make changes.”
He was set to announce some of those changes on Thursday with Police Supt. Garry McCarthy. They will hold a public meeting, where they will reveal plans to put more police officers on the streets.
The moves are expected to mirror recommendations made last week by the city’s inspector general, who suggested having civilians take over the administrative jobs handled by nearly 300 police officers.
Just days before she was killed, Hadiya performed with her high school band at the parade for President Obama’s second inaugural celebration in Washington.
“She is what is best in our city. A child going to school, who takes a final exam, who had just been to the inaugural,” Emanuel said. “You look at her, you look at how she talked about her future. She took her final exams. She had dreams. And this gang-banger, this punk took that away from Cleopatra. They took it away from Hadiya. And in my view, they took it away from the city of Chicago.”
CBS 2′s Suzanne Le Mignot reports the park where Hadiya was shot is just blocks from King College Prep High School — where she was an honor student, volleyball player, and majorette with the school band.
Hadiya, who dreamed of becoming a lawyer, was part of the school’s Crystal Elegance marching band’s majorette team, which performed at President Barack Obama’s second inaugural last week.
An $11,000 reward was being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction. Anyone with information on the shooting can call a community tip line that has been set up for this case: 1-800-U-TELL-US (883-5587). You can also call Area Central Detectives at 312-747-8380.
A witness said the teens who were with Hadiya at the time of the shooting scattered and ran out of the park in a panic after the shots were fired. Hadiya and a boy who also was shot collapsed about a block away, in front of one of the upscale condo row houses that line Oakenwald.
Hadiya was struck once in the back, and died at the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital less than an hour later.
The teenage boy who was shot was struck in the leg. He also was being treated at Comer Children’s Hospital.
A neighbor who lives next to the park said he heard six shots, and saw a man he believes was the killer. The man was wearing a blue hoodie and blue jeans. The witness said the man drove off in a white Nissan.
Police said they were still working on a description of the killer Wednesday night.