Hadiya Pendleton tragedy: $40K reward in teen girl`s shooting - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Hadiya Pendleton tragedy: $40K reward in teen girl`s shooting death

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Chicago police say the reward is now $40,000 in the shooting death of a 15-year-old girl who performed at events for President Barack Obama's inauguration.

SEE: PHOTOS: Teen killed 1 week after performing at inaugural events

The amount of the reward being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals responsible for the shooting death of 15-year-old Hadiyah Pendleton has been raised to $40,000 with donations from Pastor Corey Brooks, in care of New Beginnings Church, St. Sabina, and other sources.

Pendleton died Tuesday at a park about a mile from Obama's Chicago home. Police say a gunman opened fire on Hadiya and her group, thinking they were rival gang members. But authorities say that wasn't the case.

Pendleton's friend Lawrence, who was with her the night she died, was hit in the leg. His mother, Tanya Sellers, says she was at work when she got the call.

"You panic, you scream, you cry, you fear just all over your whole body by him being the whole baby. That's a phone call you never want to get," Sellers says.

Sellers says her son has been home resting since the shooting, unable to go back to school and unable to speak about the last time he saw his friend Hadiya.

"I'm hurt, I'm sad," Tanya Sellers says. "I went through the anger because yes my son is injured, but there's another child that's gone."

FOX 32 has learned that Chicago police are looking at surveillance video taken from cameras mounted on this house in North Kenwood. FOX 32 has also learned a man in the neighborhood witnessed the shooting--and saw the suspect's face from his 3rd floor. He is sharing that information with police.

A dog walker, who didn't want to be identified, says she saw Hadiya laying on this sidewalk with her friends. She tried to help, but knew it was probably already too late.

"When I arrived, she was already down," the lady explains. "I will never forget the young woman who wasn't shot..the shrieks, the wailing, the pain, the agony in her voice...the young man didn't say much. He was in total shock."

Hadiya was an honors student who had just finished taking her exams at King College Prep. She had dreams of becoming a doctor or a lawyer and was looking forward to an upcoming summer trip to Paris.

Four years ago, Pendleton appeared in an anti-gang video with her fellow classmates at Carter G. Woodson School telling other students to "say no to gangs and yes to a great future." Later in the video Hadiya says students should be smart, but "joining a gang isn't a part of it."

Pendleton's story caught the nation's attention, further sparking the debate on America's gun control issues.

On Thursday, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis issued a statement saying in part, "The prevalence of violence on our streets is starting to reduce the wonderful qualities that kids like Hadiya possess—qualities we all want in our children—to homicide statistics. As an educator, I empathize with the teachers for whom the aftermaths of these incidents are grave daily realities."

In the wake of Pendleton's death and recent Chicago shootings, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Thursday that 200 more officers will soon hit the streets.

Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle have proposed new laws to crack down on those who don't report stolen, lost or sold guns.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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