The first lady will join other dignitaries Saturday at the funeral of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old girl who was shot and killed in Chicago just days after performing at one of President Obama's inauguration events.
Courtesy Damon Stewart/AP/File
First lady Michelle Obama will join some of Illinois' most recognizable politicians and clergy Saturday to mourn a 15-year-old honor student whose death has drawn attention to staggering gun violence in the nation's third-largest city.
But Hadiya Pendleton's family says her Saturday funeral service won't be about politics, but about remembering a girl who loved to dance, once appeared in an anti-gang video and died just days after performing at one of President Barack Obama's inauguration events.
None of the dignitaries are slated to speak during the service. The teen's pastor and brother will talk, and the musical group Pendleton was a member of will perform.
"Everything is about Hadiya," said Shatira Wilks, one of Pendleton's cousins and a family spokeswoman.
Pendleton was shot and killed while she talked with friends after school at a park not far from the Obamas' Chicago home. Police have said the Jan. 29 shooting appears to be a case of mistaken identity involving gang members who believed the park was their territory. Police say Pendleton was an innocent victim. No charges have been filed.