Two Men Charged With Murder In Shooting of Chicago Teen

10:30 PM, Feb 11, 2013   |    comments
Hadiya Pendleton, 15, was shot and killed a little more than a week after taking part in inaugural festivities in Washington.
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CHICAGO - Two men have been charged with murder in the shooting death of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton a week after she performed at President Obama's inauguration.

Michael Ward, 18, and Kenneth Williams, 20, both of Chicago, were charged with one count each of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm in the Jan. 29 attack that also wounded two other teens, the Chicago Tribune reported, citing prosecutors.

The Associated Press also reported the charges but said the suspects' names have not been released.

Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and other top police officials were expected to formally announce the charges at an evening news conference.

Citing sources, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Ward has been on two years' probation for aggravated use of a weapon in 2011. He and Williams are members of the Gangster Disciples street gang and were feuding with rival gang members at the time of the shooting, authorities said.

Police said Hadiya, an honor student and band majorette at King College Prep. was an innocent victim of a gang-related shooting.

First lady Michelle Obama attended her funeral Saturday. Other dignitaries included Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush.

Hadiya was shot in Vivian Gordon Harsh Park, about a mile from the Obama home on the city's South Side. After finishing their exams she and classmates had taken shelter under a park canopy during a rainstorm. Police said a man hopped a fence, ran toward the group and opened fire with a handgun, striking Hadiya in the back as she tried to run.

Her slaying brought new attention to Chicago's homicide rate, and came in a January that was the city's deadliest in a decade. In 2012, Chicago recorded 506 homicides

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