Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Monday, January 29, 2018


We, the comrades of Unit 1012, will honor and remember 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton who died on January 29, 2013. 

We, the comrades of Unit 1012: The VFFDP, will make her one of The 82 murdered children of Unit 1012, where we will not forget her. Let us remember how she lived and not how she died. We will always support her family members. 

Hadiya Pendleton
(June 2, 1997 to January 29, 2013)


Death of Hadiya Pendleton

Vivian Gordon Harsh Park

January 29, 2013; 5 years ago
Mistaken Gang Rivalry
Death of Hadiya Pendleton
1 (Hadiya Pendleton)
Non-fatal injuries
Michael Ward, Kenneth Williams
First degree murder, attempted murder, aggravated discharge of a firearm
The death of Hadiya Pendleton occurred on January 29, 2013. Pendleton, a 15-year-old girl from Chicago, Illinois, was shot in the back and killed while standing with friends inside Harsh Park in Kenwood, Chicago after taking her final exams. A student at King College Prep High School, she was killed only one week after performing at events for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. First Lady Michelle Obama attended the funeral for Pendleton in Chicago.

President Obama mentioned Pendleton's death in his 2013 State of the Union Address in Congress, where Pendleton's parents, Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton and Nathaniel A. Pendleton Sr., attended as guests. The crime scene is "just a mile away from [President Obama's] Chicago house".

Pendleton's mother, Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton, went onstage but did not speak at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Hadiya an hour before she was killed

Hadiya Pendleton
(June 2, 1997 to January 29, 2013)

Legal proceedings

Two suspects, Michael Ward, 18, and Kenneth Williams, 20, were arrested and indicted with multiple counts of first degree murder, attempted murder, aggravated discharge of a weapon and many other charges. They told police that Pendleton was not the intended target. The group she was standing with was mistaken for members of a rival gang. A judge denied bail for the two gang members. 

At the time of the shooting, Ward, the gunman, was on probation. In January 2012, he pleaded guilty to aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, and was sentenced to two years of probation. Less than three months later, he was arrested and charged with breaking into a car. In July 2012, he was arrested for breaking into a different vehicle. In November 2012, he was arrested for misdemeanor trespassing. During his youth, he had also been arrested numerous times on charges ranging from robbery to battery to marijuana possession, and had spent time on juvenile probation. 

Ward and Williams were each charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, and aggravated battery with a firearm. The trial started on August 14, 2018. On August 22nd, 2018, a jury found Williams guilty of first degree murder of Pendleton. Williams was also found guilty of aggravated battery to her friends, Sebastian Moore and Lawrence Sellers. On August 23rd, 2018, a jury found Ward guilty of first degree murder in the death of Pendleton. Both Williams and Ward are awaiting sentencing. 

Dwight Call holds a photo of Hadiya Pendleton, gunned down by a Chicago gang.


In the song "Jonylah Forever", rapper, Lupe Fiasco presents an alternate reality where Jonylah Watkins who was murdered by gun violence at the age of 6 months in Chicago grew to be a doctor and met Hadiya Pendleton who grew to be an artist in Chicago. The song is featured on the album Drogas Wave.

Nathaniel and Cleo, the Parents of Hadiya Pendleton

Hadiya Pendleton's parents say her killer deserves death penalty
By: Larry Yellen
Posted: Aug 27 2018 09:23PM CDT
Video Posted: Aug 27 2018 09:50PM CDT
Updated: Aug 27 2018 10:13PM CDT

The parents of Hadiya Pendleton opened up Monday about her murder, which drew national attention to violence in Chicago.

Four days after a guilty verdict for Hadiya's murder, Nathaniel and Cleo say the last five years have been a very trying time. They also say they wish Hadiya's killer could get the death penalty.

“We can only go speak to a grave. No. I think it's totally unfair,” Nathaniel said.

Hadiya’s father says that if the death penalty were available in Illinois, Michaeil Ward would deserve it. Hadiya's mother agrees.

“I don't think its cruel to say that you incited this on these people, so why are you still able to live the rest of your days out and have, possibly, the opportunity to enjoy the later part of your life?” Cleo said.

Ward faces from 51 years in prison to life. He was convicted of first-degree murder for killing the 15-year-old honor student five and half years ago. Kenneth Williams, the getaway driver, faces 26 to 90 years behind bars. Hadiya's parents say the convictions give them much satisfaction, but nothing can compensate for the loss of their teenaged daughter.

“In the end, justice did prevail, and that's the only thing I can say that I'm overjoyed about,” Nathaniel said.

“It's hell. You know, there's no other way to put it. Every day you see different things, you see her friends, family, or someone who's not even related to you, having a mother-daughter time, and it is absolutely heart-wrenching. Because I’ll never have that,” Cleo said.

Hadiya's parents says that with the wait for justice finally over, it's like a weight's been lifted off their lives.

“I pray for the families that are still out there waiting for justice for their lost loved ones, because now that I have it I know what relief feels like. And I just wish it for everyone else,” Cleo said.

Ward's case is back in court on October 10th for post-trial motions. No sentencing date has been set.