Chicago — Authorities said two gang members were charged with murder Monday in the death of a 15-year-old Chicago honor student who was shot just days after returning from Washington, where she performed during President Barack Obama’s inauguration festivities.
Michael Ward, 18, and Kenneth Williams, 20, were charged with one count of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm, Chicago police spokeswoman Melissa Stratton said.
The two young men were described by police as “persons of interest” when they were taken into custody early Sunday, a day after first lady Michelle Obama and other dignitaries attended the funeral of Hadiya Pendleton.
Pendleton, a popular high school majorette, was with a group of friends who took cover during a rainstorm under a canopy in a park about a mile from the Obama home on the city’s South Side. Police said a man hopped a fence, ran toward them and opened fire with a handgun. Pendleton was struck in the back and died later that day. Two others were injured.