Chicago

Turning pain into purpose: Hadiya Pendleton’s parents still fighting gun violence in Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) — At least 15 people were were injured in weekend shootings in Chicago as of Saturday evening. Amid the gun violence, several communities were demanding peace. Among them was the family of Hadiya Pendleton, just days after what would have been her 25th birthday. 

The Pendeltons are set to throw the first pitch at Sunday’s Chicago Cubs game. 

“I wish I could turn all this back in to bring her back,” said Nathaniel Pendleton. 

Saturday morning in Hadiya Pendleton Park, which is named for the beautiful 15-year-old who was shot and killed in Kenwood Park more than nine years ago, Cleopatra and Nathaniel continue to use the pain of losing their daughter as fuel for anti-gun violence activism. 

“A bright star. I can’t remember no bad times, none,”  said Nathaniel. 

“There are tables and vendors out here that have resources and information for people that may have made mistakes and need help correcting them. For people who need mental health resources. For people who need to learn more about daycare or need to learn more about what the city is also providing,” said Cleopatra. 

About five miles away in Englewood, everyone was dressed in orange, honoring the hundreds of recent victims of gun violence. The message is clear: Put the guns down. 

But this came just as — about five miles away — someone put their gun up. 

Two men are hospitalized after a shooting in the city’s South Shore neighborhood, police say. One of those men is in critical condition. 

The men, 27 and 63, were near the sidewalk right outside of Jeffery Chicken and Sub in the 2000 block of East 71st Street just after 2:30 p.m. when an unknown person drove up, got out of the vehicle and started shooted. 

The 27-year-old was shot multiple times. He was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center in critical condition. 

The 63-year-old man was struck in the leg and ankle. He was taken to U of C in good condition. 

A woman who lives in the neighborhood said almost daily reminders of gun violence — the blown out windows and crime scene tape — mean her fear never really goes away. 

“Losing my son to these streets, it really is. That’s one call that I don’t want to get,” she said. 

It’s the call the parents of Hadiya Pendleton wish they had never gotten. 

“How do you get over something you created dying?” Cleopatra said. “How do you get over the dreams that have now been blackened? You can’t get over that. You have to find a way to cope and to cope healthy.” 

Hadiya’s parents have found a way to do that through Hadiya’s Promise, the foundation they created in honor of their daughter.  


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