2:08 p.m. CST January 30, 2013
Ten-year-old Nathaniel Pendleton Jr. recalled the way his big sister Hadiya would often greet him with a few gentle slaps on his cheeks whenever she came home from school.
“She said it was with love,” he said.
Nathaniel etched “I miss you” and “I love you” on his arm Wednesday, a day after losing his only sibling when a gunman opened fire on a group of students just blocks from King College Prep on the South Side.
“It’s very painful to see your big sister get slaughtered,” the soft-spoken Nathaniel said, tearing up as went through photos of his big sister on his phone.
As he spoke, his sister’s death was dominating a news conference by Mayor Rahm Emanuel as a particularly violent January in Chicago draws to a close.
Emanuel called Hadiya “what is best in our city” and urged anyone with information about the slaying to come forward.
“If anybody has any information, you are not a snitch, you’re a citizen,” the mayor said. “You’re a good citizen in good standing if you help.”
The mayor said he talked this morning with Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, “going over what we need to do, what differences we have to do, what other tactics we have to adopt.” He did not say what plans he and McCarthy discussed.
Questions about the slaying were also asked during the daily briefing by the press secretary for President Barack Obama. Reporters noted that Hadiya had participated in inaugural festivities for Obama last week, and that the shooting occurred about a mile from Obama’s home in the Kenwood neighborhood.
“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,” press secretary Jay Carney said. “This is just another example of the problem that we need to deal with.”
Carney was asked if the shooting carried any lessons for Obama since it occurred in a state with tough gun laws.
“We need to take action to reduce gun violence,” Carney replied. “We need to take action on common-sense measures that do not infringe upon our Second Amendment rights. . .but that make sure that we’re doing everything we can in a responsible way to reduce this violence, to protect our children, including Hadiya Pendleton and others.”
Hadiya was hanging out with her volleyball team at Harsh Park after taking exams Tuesday afternoon. About a dozen teens had taken shelter under a canopy during a rainstorm when a boy or man jumped a fence in the park, ran toward them and opened fire around 2:20 p.m., police said.
Hadiya was wounded in the back and a 16-year-old boy — also a student at King — was shot in the leg, police said. The attacker got into an auto and fled, police said. No arrests have been reported.
Today, Hadiya’s family was inside their South Side home exchanging stories about her quirks and sense of humor.
Kimiko Pettis, Hadiya’s 32-year-old aunt, laughed when she talked about her niece’s goofy personality. “We really miss her,” Pettis said. “She was a remarkable young lady and such a great asset to our family.”
Hadiya was a busy but lighthearted teen, always trying to get a laugh from her family. Just Tuesday, she put on what she thought was a “fabulous outfit” and make-up before school.
“She popped out of the bathroom saying. ‘I’m ready!’ ” Pettis said, throwing her arms in the air.
Pettis said her niece loved Coldplay and Maroon 5. “You could not find any urban music on her phone,” Pettis said with a laugh. “And she had two left feet.”
Last year, Hadiya traveled with her school band to perform at Marti Gras in New Orleans, Pettis said. Last week, she had performed at President Barack Obama’s inauguration festivities. This year’s travel plans included Dublin and Paris with the band, her aunt said, a trip she was very much looking forward to.
Though only a sophomore, Hadiya had aspirations to become a pharmacist or a journalist, Pettis said. Because she couldn’t decide, family encouraged her to do both with a possible double major. She had interest in attending Northwestern University, her aunt said.
Hadiya was such a whirlwind of activity, relatives would jokingly tell her to slow down.
“There were a lot of good opportunities that were coming her way. She was just taking them all,” said Lakeisha Stewart, 37, Hadiya’s godmother. “She was the kid who you had to say, ‘Slow down, you can’t do everything.’ ”
Just last week, at Obama’s inauguration, Hadiya sent her godparents a text and a photo of her and her teammates in Washington, D.C., Stewart said. She had not gotten the chance to talk to Hadiya about the details of the trip since she returned from the East Coast.
Hadiya’s parents made sure she stayed involved in school, said her godfather, Damon Stewart, 36, an attorney and Chicago police officer. He said she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“He life was dominated by her activities and the things she was into,” he said.
“I’ve known this little girl her entire life,” added Lakeisha Stewart. “I can’t think of a moment that this child did anything wrong. She always strived to do the right thing.”
At King today, Bria Carter and two friends said the halls of the school were unusually quiet as students mourned Hadiya’s death.
“People are crying at school,” said Carter, 17, a friend of Hadiya. “Those who knew her are so hurt.
“She was an amazing person — always positive,” Carter said. “She was one of those people everyone loved. She was the sweetest thing.”
Brothers Addison and Zion Morgan said many of their classmates took to social media Tuesday night to express ther emotinos.
“Based off of the tweets, everyone is surprised and shocked by this,” said senior Addison Morgan, 17.
Freshman Zion Morgan, 15, said he was in a U.S. History class with Hadiya. “She was always smiling,” Zion Morgan said. “She would always raise her hand in class.”
At the park, neighbors along the well-maintained North Kenwood block could not remember any trouble there before.
The small park’s bright blue and orange playground equipment is often used by toddlers down the street, a neighbor said, but otherwise remains quiet.
The neighbor, who declined to be named, lives next door to the park and said it’s a “perfect neighborhood.”
Teens and older children are not often visitors of the park, he said. The block is filled with “Harvard attorneys,” “business owners” and other executives, the neighbor said. “No one knows about our block,” he said. “It’s a quiet place.”
Hadiya’s godmother agreed. “It amazed me when I found out what park it was,” she said. “Nothing I have ever heard ever goes on over there.”
The shooting occurred about a mile from Obama’s Kenwood home, but Emanuel said the circumstances do not carry symbolic significance.
“It’s not the mile from a house. Wherever it happens in the city of Chicago is where I consider it,” the mayor said while talking to reporters at a news conference about a West Humboldt Park company building new seats for CTA buses.
“While you may say it’s a mile from the president’s house, my view is, it’s in the city of Chicago, regardless of where it happens,” Emanuel added.
using the number/letter grid:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A = 1 J = 1 S = 1
B = 2 K = 2 T = 2
C = 3 L = 3 U = 3
D = 4 M = 4 V = 4
E = 5 N = 5 W = 5
F = 6 O = 6 X = 6
G = 7 P = 7 Y = 7
H = 8 Q = 8 Z = 8
I = 9 R = 9
8 5 5
how she appeared to the world (HE) and how she obtains her heart’s desire (HN) both = 85 = Epitaph.
discover some of your own numerology for FREE at:
learn numerology from numerologist to the world, Ed Peterson:
predictions for the year 2013 are at: