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Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old honor student in Chicago slain in a park just days after returning from the inaugural celebration in Washington, D.C., will be buried on Saturday.

The family of the teenager has announced that visitation will be from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at Calahan Funeral Home, located at 7030 Halstead. A wake will be at 9 a.m. the following Saturday at Greater Harvest Baptist Church at 5141 South State Street. The funeral will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Large crowds are expected for the visitation and funeral services to honor the teen who is becoming the face of the national anti-gun violence effort. Edward Calahan, owner of the funeral home, told they have made arrangements with local police to help manage the traffic. The facility has three parking lots, he said.

Meanwhile, an online petition calling for President Barack Obama to attend the funeral of the teenager killed about a mile from his Chicago home are picking up traction at with about 800 people signing as of Monday morning. A total of 100,000 signatures are needed to get a response from the White House.

Another petition on has also been launched calling for the president to make a speech in Chicago addressing the crisis of gun violence. About 1,600 people had signed that petition as of Monday morning.

Hadiya, a student at the selective King College Preparatory School, was shot Tuesday as she and friends took shelter from the rain in Harsh Park after completing exams. Police said a man approached the group firing random shots. Although they have received tips, there has been no arrest. The current reward in the case now stands at $40,000, the Chicago Police Department confirmed for

Police in Chicago say they have taken at least 450 illegal weapons off the streets since the first of year, but gun violence continues to plague the city.

Hadiya’s death a week ago brought the January number of homicides in that city to 42. The homicide rate in Chicago was up 77 percent in January compared to 2011, according to police department statistics.

“Every day, our law abiding citizens and law enforcement officials are put in harm’s way by  the brazen actions of criminals with guns,” police Superintendent Garry F. McCarthy said in a prepared statement. “The availability of guns for criminals, and their willingness to use them, is an issue we must address head on with common-sense gun legislation,” he said.

The debate over gun control continues across the country with Senate Democrats preparing to take a gun bill to the floor that includes most of the proposals backed by President Barack Obama. The bill would not include a ban on military-style, semiautomatic weapons, a top aide to Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada told the Wall Street Journal.

The Senate Democrats bill would seek to limit the capacity of ammunition magazines; expand background checks to include sales at gun shows and other private transactions; and require better record keeping to keep guns out of the hands of those with mental illness, according to the Wall Street Journal.

(Photo: AP)

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