Michelle Obama to attend slain Chicago teen’s funeral

February 7, 2013

First lady Michelle Obama and other senior administration officials plan to attend the funeral Saturday of a Chicago girl who was shot and killed last month after visiting Washington during President Obama's second inauguration, a White House official said Thursday.

FILE - This undated file family photo provided by Damon Stewart shows 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton of Chicago. Pendleton was shot and killed Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, in a Chicago park as she talked with friends by a gunman who apparently was not even aiming at her. Pendleton, who had performed in President Barack Obama's inauguration festivities, is the latest face on the ever-increasing homicide toll in the president's hometown and is giving ammunition to both sides in the nation’s debate about gun rights and safety. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Damon Stewart, File)
An undated file family photo of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton of Chicago, who was shot and killed Jan. 29 in a Chicago park. (Associated Press)

Michelle Obama, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and senior presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett will fly to Chicago to attend Hadiya Pendleton's funeral.

Pendleton, 15, went to school a mile from President Obama's house and reportedly came to Washington with some classmates for the inaugural weekend. She died Jan. 29 when she and several other teenagers were gunned down while hanging out at a park in Chicago.

Pendleton was among more than 40 people killed in Chicago last month, making January the deadliest month in the city in more than a decade. Her shooting hit home for Obama, who is from Chicago, and has become a rallying cry nationally for the push to enact stricter gun laws.

Jarrett and Duncan also were longtime Chicago residents before moving to Washington to serve in the administration. Jarrett was a top aide to former Chicago mayor Richard Daley, while Duncan was chief executive of Chicago public schools.

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