Cops: Honor student killed by Chicago gang members
CHICAGO — Chicago police say two gang members charged in the death of a 15-year-old honor student mistook her and her friends for members of a rival gang and attacked the group in retaliation for a shooting that injured one of them over the summer.
Hadiya Pendleton died after being shot in a park about a mile from the Chicago home of President Barack Obama on Jan. 29, just days after she performed during his inauguration festivities in Washington. Her death was among dozens of homicides in Chicago last month, though her background and ties to Obama thrust her death into the national headlines.
Michael Ward, 18, and Kenneth Williams, 20, were charged Monday with first-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said Monday night. Both were taken into custody late Saturday while on their way to a strip club — and just hours after first lady Michelle Obama and other dignitaries attended Pendleton's funeral.