CHICAGO — Police are questioning two gang members in connection with the slaying of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton and charges are expected, officials said Monday.
Police brought in witnesses and conducted lineups with the two suspects Sunday, and interviews with witnesses continued Monday, sources said.
During a Monday news conference, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said they were expecting to charge someone in the killing Monday afternoon or evening.
"We will bring this all to closure probably some time this evening," McCarthy said.
A police source said two male gang members — ages 18 and 20 — were pulled over early Sunday morning near East 67th Street and South Chicago Avenue before being taken into custody.
The source said Mayor Rahm Emanuel personally called Hadiya's parents, Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton and Nathaniel Pendleton, to share the news.
Hadiya was shot and killed Jan. 29 while standing with friends at Harsh Park. Her death resonated nationally as a symbol of the violence plaguing the city. First lady Michelle Obama attended Hadiya's funeral Saturday, and the family is set to attend Tuesday's State of the Union address in Washington, D.C. The White House also announced President Obama would visit Chicago Friday to discuss gun violence.
Emanuel and McCarthy have vowed to track down Hadiya's killer, who sprayed a crowd of teens with bullets, apparently believing rival gang members were among them. A $40,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the capture of the killer.
Nathaniel Pendleton told DNAinfo that he won't feel any closure until those responsible for his daughter's death are convicted.
"That’s what will actual bring closure — knowing those guys are off the streets," he said. "I would love to know that these guys become poster children for criminals, that even the worst criminal won’t want to be who those guys are."