Funeral for slain Chicago honor student begins

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

A funeral service is under way for a 15-year-old Chicago girl whose killing has brought national attention to Chicago's staggering gun violence.

The service began Saturday with a standing ovation for "the strength of this family."

Hadiya Pendleton was a band majorette who was shot and killed just a few days after performing for events surrounding President Barack Obama's inauguration. Police say Pendleton was an innocent victim in a gang-related shooting.

First lady Michelle Obama was among a long list of dignitaries present. She met privately with the family before the start of the service and accompanied the girl's mother to the open casket.

Obama put her arm around Cleopatra Pendleton and patted her back as the woman threw her head back and started wailing.


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