It seems like 2013 is on pace to be another heartbreakingly deadly year for Chicago’s youth of color. 2012 was the first time since 2008 that the city’s homicide rate totaled more than 500, the vast majority of those being young black and Latino.
A 15-year-old Chicago girl who reportedly performed with her school’s marching band at several events for President Obama’s inauguration last week was shot and killed on Tuesday afternoon.
Police say Hadiya Pendleton died after she was shot in the back while hanging out with a group of teens in Vivian Gordon Harsh Park about 2:30 p.m.
Pendleton was taking shelter from the rain under a canopy, when an unidentified man or boy jumped a fence and ran toward the group and opened fire, police said. The shooter then fled in a vehicle. The man fled the scene in a vehicle. No arrests have been made.
More young people are killed in Chicago than any other U.S. city.
Since 2008, more than 530 youth have been killed in Chicago with nearly 80 percent of the homicides occurring in 22 African-American or Latino community areas in the city’s South, Southwest and West sides, according to the Chicago reporter.
“Well, it’s a terrible tragedy – anytime a young person is struck down with so much of their life ahead of them, and we see it far too often,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, speaking about the murder.
“The president has more than once when he talks about gun violence in America referred not just to the horror of Newtown or Aurora or Virginia Tech or Oak Creek but to shootings on the corner in Chicago or other parts of the country,” Carney said. “And this is just another example of the problem that we need to deal with.”