Local media outlets in Chicago are reporting that First Lady Michelle Obama will attend the Saturday funeral of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old honor student killed by random gunfire last week.
Hadiya, one of 42 victims of violence in Chicago in January, was with friends in a park after school. They were seeking shelter from the rain as a gunman approached their group firing a weapon.
Hadiya, a majorette in the King College Preparatory School band, marched in the parade in Washington, D.C. celebrating the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Her death has added fuel to the debate over gun control laws in America.
President Obama has made gun control laws a priority for his second term. Petitions were started online to encourage him to attend the funeral, scheduled to start at 11 a.m. Saturday at Greater Harvest Baptist Church in Chicago.
Prior to the report of the First Lady’s attendance at the funeral, it was announced that Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn will attend the funeral and speak during the service.
A White House official confirmed for BlackAmericaweb.com that the First Lady will attend the funeral along with top adviser Valerie Jarrett and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
In addition to the funeral service, visitation will be from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at Calahan Funeral Home. A wake is set to start at 9 a.m. on Saturday.