Death of 15-Year-Old Honor Student Who Attended Obama Inaugural Highlights Worsening Gun Violence in the US (VIDEO)

  @ibtimesau on

Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old honor student and majorette at King College Prep High School and who attended the Obama inaugural in early January was shot dead on Tuesday.

Her school band also performed at several inaugural events.

Police said Hadiya was shot in the back at a Chicago park and later died at the University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital. Besides Hadiya, an unidentified boy was also shot in the leg and is undergoing treatment at the same hospital.

She was one of 12 teens who stayed under a canopy at the park to avoid the rain when a man jumped a fence, ran toward the group and fired at the teens. He later fled the crime scene on a car. Police said he did not aim at Hadiya.

The incident, which reflects the growing incidents of gun violence in the U.S. and other parts of the world, however, does not reflect the situation in the Chicago neighborhood. Residents pointed out that they hardly have any crimes in their community.

The shooting took place at a time that second-termer U.S. President Barack Obama is pushing Congress to pass strticter gun laws to curb the rising incidents of gun violence in the U.S.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that upon learning of Hadiya's shooting and death, the president and First Lady Michelle Obama joined the family of the slain teen in thoughts and prayers.

"Well, it's a terrible tragedy - anytime a young person is struck down with so much of their life ahead of them, and we see it far too often . . . The president has more than once when he talks about gun violence in America referred not just to the horror of Newton or Aurora or Virginia Tech or Oak Creek but to shootings on the corner in Chicago or other parts of the country," Washington Post quoted Mr Carney.

In memory of Hadiya, this tribute video was posted in YouTube.

According to a Wikipedia list, the U.S. is 10th in total firearm-related death rates for the years 2010 and 2011. Here is the top 10 list:

1.     El Salvador - 50.36

2.     Jamaica - 47.44

3.     Honduras - 46.70

4.     Guatemala - 38.52

5.     Swaziland - 37.16

6.     Mexico - 25.14

7.     Colombia - 11.10

8.     Brazil - 11.01

9.     Panama - 10.82

10. U.S. - 10.2

Join the Discussion