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Michelle Obama To Attend Funeral For Hadiya Pendleton

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Feb 7, 2013 7:00PM

First Lady Michelle Obama will attend the funeral for slain teen Hadiya Pendleton on Saturday, a White House official reports. Secretary of Education, and former Chicago Public Schools Chief, Arne Duncan and Senior Advisor, and Chicagoan, Valerie Jarrett will also attend.

Hadiya, 15, was shot and killed on Jan. 29, just a week after she performed at President Barack Obama's second inauguration. She was huddled under a canopy with about a dozen other teens taking shelter from the rain at a park blocks away from King College Prep High School, where she was a student. Police say around 2:30 p.m., a man jumped a fence, ran toward the group, opened fire then got into a car and sped away. Vivian Gordon Harsh Park, where she was killed, is about a mile away from the Obamas' Kenwood home.

Police believe the gunman opened fire believing he was mistakenly targeting a rival gang member. No arrests have been made. Police are offering thousands of dollars as a reward for information, an ever increasing amount, and while they've received hundreds of tips, they have not identified the killer.

Hadiya was an honor student involved in sports and the marching band. Making Hadiya's death all that more senseless, two years prior she had participated in making a public service video warning of the dangers of joining a gang. Watch the video below.

The connection to President Obama's inauguration and hometown catapulted the story into the national spotlight. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke about her senseless murder in the Senate hearings on gun violence, and Gov. Pat Quinn mentioned her in his State of the State address. Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. and his Rainbow/PUSH Coalition led a march on the South Side in her honor on Saturday, Feb. 2, calling for federal intervention to stem Chicago violence.

The funeral for Hadiya will be held on Saturday, Feb. 9. Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to deliver a eulogy.