The parents of the slain Chicago teen Hadiya Pendleton will join Michelle Obama on Tuesday when President Obama gives his State of the Union address, which is expected to mention gun violence, reported the Associated Press.
Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton and Nathaniel A. Pendleton’s 15-year-old daughter was gunned down on Jan. 29 at a park on Chicago’s South Side, about a mile from the Obama family’s home, just days after performing at the inauguration festivities for the President in Washington, D.C., the Chicago Tribune reported.
The First Lady attended the honor student’s funeral service in Chicago on Saturday and, according to the British newspaper the Guardian, met privately with the family before the service and accompanied Pendleton’s mother to the open casket.
Two Chicago men — Michael Ward, 18, and Kenneth Williams, 20 — were charged with murder Monday in the death of Pendleton, BBC News reported. The men face charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm in the attack that left two other teens wounded, according to the Chicago Tribune. They were taken into custody early Sunday morning and were being questioned as “persons of interest,” the New York Times reported.
Pendleton’s death was Chicago’s 42nd homicide of 2013, after more than 500 deaths last year, the New York Times said.
The White House confirmed that the First Lady’s box at the address would include middle-class American families whose lives the President believes would be improved by his policy proposals, according to the Chicago Tribune.
President Obama is scheduled to travel on Friday to Chicago, where, according to New York Daily News, he is expected to discuss gun violence again.