Girl who performed at Obama's inauguration shot dead

Washington, Jan 31 (IANS) Hadiya Pendleton, a teenager who performed at President Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony last week, was gunned down in Chicago, a media report said.

Pendleton, 15, was shot dead while hanging out with friends after school, reported NBC News.

She had performed with the King College Prep school band at Obama's inauguration.

She was standing under a canopy in Vivian Gordon Harsh Park when a gunman came from an alley, opened fire and fled, police said.

She was shot in the back but managed to run about a block before she collapsed. She died at a hospital.

A 16-year-old boy was wounded in the attack.

Pendleton, who did not have a criminal record, was probably not the intended target.

"Never in a million years did I think I would get a call that my own baby had been gunned down," Pendleton's mother, Cleo Cowley, was quoted as saying.

She said that Tuesday afternoon she got an unexpected call from one of her daughter's friends.

"She was screaming on the phone that Hadiya's been shot, she's been shot, and I just didn't understand," said Cowley.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said: "Well, it's a terrible tragedy any time a young person is struck down with so much of their life ahead of them. And we see it far too often. The president and the first lady's thoughts and prayers are with the family of Hadiya Pendleton. All of our thoughts and prayers are with her family."

He added: "And as the president has said, we will never be able to eradicate every act of evil in this country, but if we can save any one child's life, we have an obligation to try when it comes to the scourge of gun violence."

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