Michelle Obama to Attend Slain Chicago Teen’s Funeral

The First Lady will attend Saturday’s funeral service for 15-year-old Hadyia Pendleton in Chicago, a White House official said.

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Associated Press

Hadyia Pendleton was gunned down in Chicago days after performing at the President’s inauguration festivities.

First Lady Michelle Obama will attend Saturday’s funeral service in Chicago for slain teen Hadiya Pendleton, who was gunned down just days after performing at the inauguration festivities for the President in Washington, D.C, according to ABC News.

The 15-year-old was fatally shot and killed on Jan. 29 at a park on Chicago’s South Side, barely a mile from the Obama family’s home, the Associated Press reported.  There have been no arrests in her case, according to the New York Times.

(MORE: Hadiya Pendleton: Shooting of Teen Who Performed at Inauguration Sparks Outrage on Twitter)

A White House official said on Thursday that the First Lady is not expected to make public remarks at the funeral, and the Obama daughters are not expected to accompany their mother, according to the Chicago Tribune.  The White House official spoke on condition of anonymity because the First Lady’s travels had not been formally announced, according to the Associated Press.

White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, both from Chicago, will also attend the funeral, the Washington Post reported.

(MORE: Q&A: Guns, Cities and the Death of Hadiya Pendleton)

An honors student, volleyball player and band majorette at King College Prep School, Pendleton performed last month with her classmates at an inauguration party sponsored by Representative Danny K. Davis, Democrat of Illinois, the New York Times reported.

Pendleton’s death, according to the Washington Post, brought renewed attention to the Windy City’s homicide rate and the debate over gun violence in the United States.  Her killing was the city’s 42nd homicide of 2013, after more than 500 deaths last year, the New York Times said.

The First Lady’s decision to attend the funeral comes as the Obama administration steps up its gun control push next week and before the President lays out his plan to confront gun violence in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday.

(MORE: Obama to Promote His Agenda to House Democrats)

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