Parents of slain Chicago teen to attend State of the Union
February 11th, 2013
01:30 PM ET
2 years ago

Parents of slain Chicago teen to attend State of the Union

(CNN) - The parents of Hadiya Pendleton, the 15-year-old Chicago girl shot and killed in Chicago last month, will be guests in first lady Michelle Obama's box at Tuesday's State of the Union, a White House official told CNN.

Pendleton was killed just a week after she performed in the festivities surrounding President Barack Obama's second inauguration. The first lady attended her funeral on Saturday.

Watch CNN's comprehensive coverage of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address starting Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ET on CNN TV and follow online at CNN.com or via CNN's apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. Follow our real-time State of the Union live blog at cnn.com/conversation.

The death came as Obama's administration has been focused on reducing gun violence, especially the killing of children, after the December 14 elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Pendleton was killed in Hyde Park neighborhood near Obama's Chicago home.

Vice President Joe Biden described to Democratic members of Congress last week how Pendleton "marched by me and the president and the rest of you on inauguration day leading with pride and promise her high school band gunned down in a park just outside her school in broad daylight."

"This was no ordinary child," he said. "She was a child who had used social media, urging her friends to speak out - don't join gangs. And now she's gone."

On a trip to Chicago Friday, President Obama will discuss the rampant gun violence in Chicago, where over 500 people were murdered last year.

"The president will travel to Chicago for an event amplifying some of the policy proposals included in the State of the Union that focus on strengthening the economy for the middle class and the Americans striving to get there," a White House official said Sunday. "He'll, of course, also talk about the gun violence that has tragically affected too many families in communities across Chicago and across the country."

Administration officials said Sunday the president will renew his support for the gun proposals he's already endorsed during his State of the Union address, including a ban on military-style assault weapons and bolstering background checks. He will call for quick action on passing those measures through Congress, the officials said.

–CNN's Emily Schultze, Greg Wallace and Jessica Yellin contributed to this report.

soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. joe

    Sounds like more propaganda against guns to me. I am sorry this happened but knowing that this was an area frequented by gang members why was she even there to begin with? If you know a fire is hot you don't intentionally stick your hand in it to see if it's hot. Parents should not allow their kids to hang out in these high crime/gang areas to begin with!

    February 11, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    She was killed in the Kenwood section of Chicago, which has been long regarded as mostly a middle to upper middle class neighborhood. No large or high rise public housing projects in the area at all.

    February 11, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  3. Lilli

    Yep...people of color do live in middle class communities....how ignorant can you be to assume all Black folk live in high crime areas??? And it is the RIGHT thing for our First Lady to DO? Ok to go to other gun crime areas but not to Chicago....Joe pleez!!!,

    February 11, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  4. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    She was killed in the Kenwood section of Chicago, which has been long regarded as mostly a middle to upper middle class neighborhood. No large or high rise public housing projects in the area at all.
    -------
    Well thanks for clearing that up. I wasn't aware that violence only occurs where "high rise public housing projects" are situated.

    February 11, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  5. TommytheT

    need let a good tragedy go to waste huh Mr Obama?

    February 11, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  6. Name lynn

    It doesnt where people live, an what kinda neighbor hood they live in. It doesnt give no one the right to shoot an kill people, gangs, projects house that doesnt give people the right to open fire where they please. People have a heart, not a cold heart please pray for the family if you want if not other people will be praying.

    February 11, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  7. Denny

    Same on this administration for using people to further their anti-gun agenda. And if I lost my daughter the last place I would want to spend my time mourning is at the State of the Union.

    February 11, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  8. ammonimous

    Just like ny did, il should impose even more gun restrictions and see if it work. It hasnt yet, even though they are one of the most reztricted cities but you can keep trti.g. Just stau away from missouri,criminals have to take a second look around before using a gun in pu lic cause they never know what law abbiding citizen will pull out their gun and put their plans to rest.

    February 11, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    joe asked:

    Sounds like more propaganda against guns to me. I am sorry this happened but knowing that this was an area frequented by gang members why was she even there to begin with?
    ------------–
    Learn how to read. The following is from the article:

    ' Vice President Joe Biden described to Democratic members of Congress last week how Pendleton "marched by me and the president and the rest of you on inauguration day leading with pride and promise her high school band gunned down in a park just outside her school in broad daylight." '

    Please take special note of the last several words, "a park just outside her school in broad daylight." Not at night time, but broad daylight. I believe the park was directly across the street from the school and was used for band practices.

    February 11, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. Velma

    If the first lady can go to this funeral, why couldn't someone attend the funeral for the slain soldier?????

    February 11, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  11. Teddybeart

    To the pendleton family u have my sincere sympathy to thoes of u that ask a question y waz she there i dnt no her reason for bein there but itz a known fact that when itz ur time u will leave here so it doesnt matter where she waz or y she waz thr just no it could hv been u or me but god makes no mistakes n az i said it waz here time so to tha family alwayz no tht death has no sting whn u die in jesus n tha grave hav no victory whn u die in jesus so ur daug. Iz alrite nw she iz restin in tha hands of jesus

    February 11, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    Well thanks for clearing that up. I wasn't aware that violence only occurs where "high rise public housing projects" are situated.
    -------------------
    For a lot people the phrase "south side of Chicago" conjures up images of "Good Times". Actually, the neighborhood is more reminiscent of "Family Matters".

    February 11, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. Larry L

    @joe

    Sounds like more propaganda against guns to me. I am sorry this happened but knowing that this was an area frequented by gang members why was she even there to begin with? If you know a fire is hot you don't intentionally stick your hand in it to see if it's hot. Parents should not allow their kids to hang out in these high crime/gang areas to begin with!
    ===================================================================================================
    Those "high crime/gang areas" are where people can afford to live. That "propaganda against guns" is a painful statement by parents who needlessly lost a treasure in their lives to gun violence. I'll point out that the little kids killed in their elementary school were living in an ideal neighborhood. Please... no more of your "wisdom".

    February 11, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  14. PatheticCNN

    Just because one is invited to State of Union doesn't mean that they are not from Gheto.

    February 11, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  15. Molly

    That poor little girl. She was about to come into the most exciting part of being a teenager. She seemed like such a bright young woman who was going places and going to do great things with her life.

    February 11, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  16. Ed1

    When you you stupid people ever wake up.

    By the way I didn't hear that our wonderful President was there to honor this American HERO in Texas must not have been time for a photo op was anyone there from the White House doubt it rather go and promote gun control when the US don't even come up in the top 25 Countries of death by guns but the liberal press and the gun takers will not say anything about that they will just continue to lie about if you remove the guns the deaths will go down that has already been proven a lie in itself.

    Wake up America before you it's to late and we will start looking just like Germany before WWII then it will be to late.

    February 11, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  17. Marcus

    Ed1 – Again with the Obama = Hitler line? Delusional...
    By the way, only folks like those members of that hate group that poses as a Baptist Church that loves SO MUCH to disrespect fallen heroes at their funerals do believe that starting an argumentation with 'When you you stupid people ever wake up' will gather the respect and proper attention to what they'll say next needs in order to make more than just a point.
    Just sayin...

    February 11, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  18. BlaineH

    I'm sure she was a wonderful young lady and what happened to her should not happen to anyone. That said, apparently the extremely strict gun control in Chicago was not very helpful in keeping her safe. Those criminals just refuse to behave. Is that the point they are trying to make: "gun control doesn't work"? If that is their point, I agree, it doesn't!

    February 11, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |