Hadiya Pendleton: March, vigil held to remember 15-year-old shooting victim

February 3, 2013 5:59:54 AM PST
A vigil was held Saturday night to remember a teenage Chicago girl whose killing has received national attention.

Family and friends gathered to mark the life of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, marching to the park where she was killed.

They lit candles and released balloons in Hadiya's memory. The gathering was sometimes emotional, but mostly somber as the group of teenagers reflected on their loss.

They gathered to share memories and offer each other support. Most of those at Saturday night's vigil were former classmates of Hadiya, the teenager shot and killed last Tuesday while hanging out with friends from King College Prep's volleyball team in Kenwood's Harsh Park.

"One day I was really upset and came into school she was at the door smiling and bubbly," said Kristina Henderson. "I automatically fell into a smile, I couldn't keep my anger. I had to let it go."

Earlier in the day, another gathering took place at the park as dozens of members of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition marched from Hadiya's high school. While Hadiya's cousin spoke out, calling on whoever is shielding the shooter to turn him in.

"What kind of person are you?" said Shatira Wilks. "I don't believe there should be any level of privilege for this person as our family has not had any. The biggest concern is calling in. Don't be afraid."

A majorette of the band at King College Prep, Hadiya had recently performed at President Barack Obama's inauguration.

In a youtube video posted by the Forestville-King Alumni Association, Hadiya can be seen along with two fellow majorettes as she was interviewed during an previous event.

"She was laughing quirky, someone had an iPad, she was on the iPad taking pictures. Those are the last memories I have of her," said LaTonya Fairley.

There is a $40,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the individual or individuals responsible for the teen's slaying.

According to Pastor Acree, Pendleton's funeral will be Saturday, February 9 at 10 a.m. at Greater Harvest Baptist Church, 5141 S. State St.