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Charges in Hadiya Pendleton murder could come tonight

HadiyPendlet15 was shot death. AP

Hadiya Pendleton, 15, was shot to death. AP

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Updated: March 12, 2013 6:26AM



Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Monday that police and prosecutors may bring charges in the murder of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton murder as soon as Monday night.

We will bring this all to closure, probably sometime this evening. We’re anticipating hoepfully that we’ll have charges,” McCarthy said at a news conference Monday where Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced new proposed gun legislation.

McCarthy declined to discuss any specifics because he did not want to do anything to taint witness identification and said that lineups were still being conducted.

Chicago Police on Sunday began questioning two suspected gang members in connection with the shooting death of Hadiya, authorities said.

The two men, ages 18 and 20, were picked up early Sunday at 67th and Martin Luther King Drive, and hours later, witnesses were brought in to the police station to see if they could identify the men in lineups, sources said.

The move comes a day after first lady Michelle Obama attended Hadiya’s funeral. Her death has drawn a national spotlight on violence in Chicago.

On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Chicago to address gun violence and other issues.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel called Hadiya’s mother, Cleopatra Pendleton, on Sunday morning to let her know the men were being questioned, according to a police source.

“I am happy to know there’s a possibility that a potential murder has been prevented in the near future . . . if they have the right perpetrator,” Hadiya’s cousin, Shatira Wilks, said Sunday night. Wilks has been acting as a family spokeswoman. She said Hadiya’s parents were not commenting on the investigation but would release a statement if charges were filed.

Hadiya was killed in a park less than a mile from the Obamas’ Kenwood home a week after performing as a baton-twirling majorette at presidential inauguration festivities with the King College Prep band in Washington. Two other teens were wounded in the shooting.

A gunman jumped a fence and fired into a group of mostly 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.



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