CHICAGO — A Chicago teen will be honored with a prestigious award from the Boy Scouts of America for his heroics in the shooting that killed Hadiya Pendleton.
The January 2013 shooting at Vivian Gordon Harsh Park occurred hours after Pendleton, 15, and a group of King College Prep students had taken their final exams.
Pendleton and a friend were featured in an anti-gang video before she was gunned down at the park about a mile from President Barack Obama's Kenwood home. Her death drew national coverage and became part of the conversation in the White House about gun control.
Lawrence Sellers was shot in his leg while shielding a friend during the shooting. A third person was also shot in the incident and walked to a nearby hospital.
Sellers received salutes for his heroism after the shooting via social media, but continued to struggle with the loss of Hadiya months after the incident.
“We don’t go back to the park," Sellers told DNAinfo in July. "I haven’t been back since, and I don’t plan on going ever again.”
On Sunday, the Boy Scouts of America will present Sellers, an Eagle Scout, with the Honor Medal at the Chicago Area Council's annual dinner.
Sellers comes from a family heavily involved in scouting. His two older brothers both also became Eagle Scouts, his father was a Scout Master, and his mother and sister were involved in Girl Scouts.
The honor medal is awarded to individuals who "demonstrated unusual heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save a life at considerable risk of to self." The awards has been given to 2,354 people since it was created in 1923.
“We are very proud of Lawrence,” said Lou Sandoval, commissioner of the council. “His actions represent one of the many ways that scouting impacts the many young men and woman who participate: servant leadership.”