Teen Shot & Killed Just Days After Performing at the President’s Inauguration

Heartbreaking 10

neighborhood watchA week ago 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was performing in a celebration that will go down in the history books: President Barack Obama's second inauguration. Today the teen is dead. She was shot in the back of the head in a Chicago neighborhood.

It's another sad story of gun violence in America. And it's another reminder of how unsafe we really are. After all, Hadiya was in a park, in a so-called safe neighborhood.

One block away were upscale condos. Nearby was Hadiya's high school. And neighbors said they were shocked by the shooting because shootings in that part of town are rare.

Even more confusing: Pendleton wasn't a gang member. She wasn't a troublemaker. She was an honor student, volleyball player, and majorette who'd earned the honor of performing at the president's inauguration.

Cops say whoever jumped over the parked fence and began shooting at the teenagers standing under a canopy waiting for rain to abate likely didn't plan to hit the 15-year-old. She was every bit the innocent bystander.

Now she's gone. Another child, dead.

It makes me sad. It makes me angry. And it makes me even more afraid.

We live in the sort of town where if you see a cop car, you worry because it means something bad must have happened. I know people who still refuse to lock their doors. They leave the car running at the post office. They let their kids walk home from the bus stop without thinking twice about danger.

I would consider it a "safe" neighborhood. But what does that even mean?

Hadiya Pendleton was a good kid in a safe neighborhood, and she was shot to death at just 15. This is reality in America. Safe neighborhoods aren't really "safe."

We still have the occasional murder in my neck of the woods. Sure, they happen every few years, and they are so rare that everyone is shaken to the core. But they happen. We had two banks robbed within days of each other a few years back. Our gas station attendant was held up at gunpoint. And for awhile there we couldn't seem to keep a postal employee because they kept getting arrested.

We all like to think we play it safe, that we protect ourselves and our kids. But tragedies like this are a sad reminder that we'll never really be safe.

Do you feel safe in your neighborhood?


Image via Xurble/Flickr

death, guns


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LostS... LostSoul88

so what does BO have anything to do with the title? It makes it sound like she was shot because she was there to perform for him. Then towards the very end of your story it says she was an inncocent bystander. 

It doest matter where you live gun violence is everywhere. 

krenk... krenke414

Really lostsoul that's what you're focused on. Who cares. She's trying to show how completely uncalled for this tragedy was. Someone who lucky enough to be apart of an innaguration is now gone. Focus on the important part of the article.

WCURi... WCURiverRat

And shot in a place with some of the tightest gun laws in the nation. Hmmmm.... Sounds to me like those laws aren't working.

cmjaz cmjaz

So sad

wamom223 wamom223

I am sad that this happened but what about the 500 people that were shot down in Chicago last year.  People will get pissed at me for pointing this out but Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in the country and it seems to be a war zone there.  I can't believe that these people would be shocked that the violence has moved to their neighbor hoods because it was bound to happen.  It seems to me the answer is clear and we should all stop ignoring it.  Most children go to gangs (I am assuming the shooters were gang member or common thugs) to find what they can't find at home: a family or a father figure.  This little girl lost her life and I hate to say it but I doubt the people that did felt a second of remorse.  Let's start having the conversation about fatherhood that we have been putting off for decades.  

As for the question the author asked no neighborhood is safe anymore.  The worst the economy gets the more desperate people get.  Desperate people do things they ordinarily wouldn't.

CAP1015 CAP1015

I have been a huge critic of Jeanne and her articles, this is one of her best.  Thought provoking, accurate and didn't involve a bait and switch title.   To be fair as I have been very critical of some of her writing, for this article I give her credit for a really good read. 

Flori... Floridamom96

Right on, wamom! The demise of the family is at the root of all of our society's ills. In particular treating fathers as disposable.

Shandi80 Shandi80

So there were a few kids around when this happend, not just the girl who was murdered, right? Do they have any clue who the shooter is or where he/she may have gone afterward? Or are they still running loose?

JoMeara JoMeara

WCURiverRat & wamom are spot on. I too am arguing this point right now on mommyish website and getting killed with the usual GUNS are the problem not the person pulling the trigger.  When are we as a nation going to have a serious debate on the people causing the violence?  I am guessing never, because like my man Chris Rock says,"the money isnot in the cure, the money is in the medicine" And these ridiculous gun laws are just a band aid for the problem. 

LuvMy... LuvMyDandD

So, anybody just think this is really sad, without politics crossing their minds? There are a lot of politically charged statements here, but you could at least throw in a "wow, that's too bad" or something and pretend like the tragedy of this at least crossed your minds. Are people born with hearts anymore or is this our new society?

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