Story by 89 WLS reporter Bill Cameron
Mayor Emanuel is talking about the way the suspects were found in the Pendleton case.
Surveillance cameras, cell phone records and a hearsay witness made the case, but Mayor Emanuel was nonetheless grateful for all of those in the community who came forward.
Mayor Emanuel said, "They provided information. A lot of good police work went into it. I am pleased the community stepped forward. Sometimes the information they provide will be a breakthrough."
Friday President Obama will be here to say what more can be done about street violence.
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Michael Ward, the man accused of shooting Hadiya Pendleton in a Chicago park, allegedly told police that the 15-year-old had "nothing to do with it. She was simply there," prosecutors said.
Ward, 18, and Kenneth Williams, 20, were each ordered held without bail Tuesday in the murder of the King College Prep honor student.
Ward was the alleged gunman, prosecutors said. Williams gave Ward the gun and was the getaway driver, they said.
The pair were arrested Saturday as they headed to a strip club in Harvey to celebrate a friend's birthday, investigators said. Each is charged with first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated battery with a firearm.
Hadiya was huddled with a group of King College Prep students under a canopy at Vivian Gordon Harsh Park in the 4400 block of South Oakenwald Jan. 29, when Ward — mistaking the group for rival gang members — allegedly opened fire. Ward was allegedly seeking retaliation after Williams was shot in the arm in July.
Police arrested Ward and Williams at 67th and Martin Luther King Drive. Ward offered no resistance, while Williams tried unsuccessfully to flee, police said.
"Chief Kiael" and "Kells" are among Ward's nicknames, and he has an "April" tattoo on his lower left arm, according to a police report. Williams is a member of the Gangster Disciples, according to his police report.
Hadiya, an honors student and majorette who had performed at President Barack Obama's inauguration, has become a national symbol of senseless violence. First lady Michelle Obama flew in to attend Hadiya's South Side funeral.
"The offenders had it all wrong," Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Monday evening after announcing murder charges against both men. "They thought the group they shot into included members of a rival gang, instead, it was a group of upstanding determined kids, who, like Hadiya, were repulsed by the gang lifestyle."
Hadiya's mother, Cleopatra Pendleton, was thrilled by the news Monday.
"I'm ecstatic. The whole family is ecstatic. I just pray they are penalized to the full extent of the law," said Pendleton, who was in the nation's capital to attend President Barack Obama's State of the Union address.
"There's no closure," she said of the arrests. "She was robbed of a lot of different experiences, but it helps."
Two reputed gang members have been charged with murder in the shooting death of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton.
Michael Ward, 18, and Kenneth Williams, 20, have been charged with first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated battery with a firearm, sources told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Ward is on probation for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. He was serving two years of probation in the 2011 case, sources said.
Authorities said Ward and Williams, members of the Gangster Disciples street gang, were feuding with gang rivals in the area where Hadiya was shot to death.
A Chicago Police Department news release said Supt. Garry McCarthy, Bureau of Detectives Chief Thomas Byrne, Area Central Detective Division Commander Anthony Riccio, Area Central Detectives, and Area Central Gang Officers will discuss the charges at Area Central Detective Headquarters at 7:30 p.m.
For Danetria Hutson, 15, a school pal who was with Hadiya when she was shot, the charges will help bring closure. “I’ve been having nightmares and been paranoid these men were going to come get me,” said Hutson, whose boot was grazed by a bullet during the shooting. “I’m really happy,” she said.
Shortly after two men were arrested early Sunday at 67th and Martin Luther King Drive, detectives began summoning witnesses to see if they could identify the men in lineups, a process that continued Monday evening as the 48-hour window in which the two must be charged or released from custody was closing.
One witness was returning Sunday from an out-of-town-trip to aid the investigation, McCarthy said Sunday afternoon on the Roe and Roeper radio show. McCarthy said he was hoping for an “airtight” case.
The charges come two days after first lady Michelle Obama flew in to attend Hadiya’s South Side funeral. Hadiya, a baton-twirling majorette at King College Prep, had performed with the school band at inauguration festivities for President Barack Obama in the nation’s capital a week before she was gunned down less than a mile from the Obama family’s Kenwood home.
Hours after the two were taken into custody, Mayor Rahm Emanuel called Hadiya’s mother, Cleopatra Pendleton, to let her know about the development.
On the afternoon of Jan. 29, a gunman jumped a fence and fired into a group of King College Prep students who had gathered under a canopy at Vivian Gordon Harsh Park in the 4400 block of South Oakenwald to get out the rain after finishing exams at their nearby school.
Police were investigating the case under the assumption the teens—none of whom were in a gang—were mistaken for rival gang members.
President Obama, who sent the Pendleton family a handwritten condolence note, is expected in Chicago Friday to discuss gun violence and a host of other issues.
Hadiya dreamed of being an attorney and was planning a summer trip to France.
One of the suspects has had run-ins with police in the past.
On Oct. 23, 2011, police were responding to a 911 call about a person with a gun in the 3700 block of South Langley when they spotted Ward, and he ran away, tossed a gun near a bush and continued to flee, according to court records.
The officers recovered the gun and nabbed Ward, according to an arrest report.
He was charged with aggravated use of a weapon on Nov. 7, 2011 and sentenced on Jan. 5, 2012 to two years’ probation, according to sources and records.
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