Yesterday, 18-year-old Michael Ward and 20-year-old Kenneth Williams were both charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm in the January shooting that wounded two Chicago teens and killed 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Ward confessed that he and Williams committed the crime and mistook one of Pendleton’s companions for someone who shot Williams last July.
Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said he apprehended the men on the way to a strip club to celebrate a friend’s birthday. “The offenders had it all wrong,” said McCarthy. “They thought the group they shot into included members of a rival gang. Instead it was a group of upstanding, determined kids who, like Hadiya, were repulsed by the gang lifestyle.”
Pendleton’s father spoke out about the arrests late yesterday from Washington, D.C., where he and his wife are planing to attend tonight’s State of the Union speech. “I’m ecstatic they found the two guys,” said Nathaniel. “[I’m] thanking God that these two guys are off the streets so that this doesn’t happen to another innocent person.”
The men are set to appear in bond court today. Williams has not confessed to the crime, nor have the police recovered a weapon.
Pendleton was laid to rest on Saturday in Chicago. First Lady Michelle Obama attended the funeral to comfort the grieving family.