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Gangster arrested for murder of Hadiya Pendleton

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
February 12th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The man who shot and killed Hadiya Pendleton, told police that the 15-year-old girl he shot "had nothing to do" with the gang conflict in which he was participating. "She was just there," suspect Michael Ward told police.

CHICAGO, IL (Catholic Online) - Michael Ward, 18, was arrested with a suspected accomplice, Kenneth Williams, 20. Both men were denied bail following their arrest for the shooting death of Hadiya Pendleton on Jan. 29.

Police waited until Saturday to arrest the pair.

According to prosecutors, Ward and Williams were looking to shoot members of a rival gang as part of a running three-year feud. Ward was already on probation or a prior weapons conviction.

Witnesses described his vehicle to police, which was already known. In fact, both men were stopped just two days before the shooting as part of a gang enforcement action by police. Neither man was arrested at that time. However, the information collected on Ward and Williams during the gang enforcement activity helped police to identify the pair as suspects.

On Saturday, the decision was made to arrest the men and they were spotted in the same vehicle, driving to a strip club to attend a party. Police arrested the pair without incident and took them in for questioning.

A lawyer representing Ward says his client was denied access to legal counsel during questioning by detectives.

As both men wait in jail for the cases against them to be prepared, the rest of Chicago is trying to move on from the senseless killing of an innocent child. First Lady Michelle Obama attended the girl's funeral.

Meanwhile, the shooting has prompted lawmakers to call for a tougher gun control bill that would impose mandatory minimums for those who commit crimes while in possession of a firearm.

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