Michelle Obama to attend funeral of slain Chicago girl

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 07, 2013 5:22 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - First lady Michelle Obama will attend the funeral in Chicago on Saturday of a 15-year-old girl who was shot to death eight days after performing with her high school band at President Barack Obama's inauguration.

Hadiya Pendleton, a majorette in her school band, was fatally shot on January 29 as she and her friends were shielding themselves from rain under a canopy in a Chicago park. Chicago has been plagued by gun violence and her killing has become a rallying cry for those calling for stronger gun controls.

Police have called it a case of mistaken identity and are offering a $40,000 reward for information leading to her killer.

A White House official said the first lady would be accompanied at the funeral service by senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett and Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

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Obama is not expected to speak at the service. Her husband has proposed a series of recommendations aimed at tightening gun regulations after the December shootings of 20 students and six educators at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

(Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Peter Cooney)