Chicago Teen Awarded Honor Medal for Shielding Friend from Gunfire

The teen was shot in the leg while shielding a friend during an attack that killed his King College Prep classmate Hadiya Pendleton

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014  |  Updated 12:56 PM CDT
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Family Honors Hadiya Pendleton's Birthday

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Remembering Hadiya Pendleton 1 Year Later

Friends and family of Hadiya Pendleton took a moment Wednesday to remember the honor student whose shooting death drew national media attention and came to symbolize gun violence in the city.

Family Honors Hadiya Pendleton's Birthday

Sunday would have been Hadiya Pendleton's 16th birthday, but a stray bullet ended her life earlier this year. Gun violence also took Blair Holt's life six years ago. This weekend their families honors their lives and legacies.
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A Chicago Eagle Scout who was shot in the leg last year while shielding a friend from the same gunfire that killed his classmate Hadiya Pendleton is being honored by the Boy Scouts of America for his heroic actions.

Lawrence Sellers was with a group of teens in Vivian Gordon Harsh Park in the 4500 block of South Oakenwald Avenue, near King College Prep High School, when the group became the unintended victims of a gang-related shooting.

Sellers was shot in the leg while shielding a friend during the attack that killed his King College Prep classmate Hadiya Pendleton, who became a national symbol of Chicago’s gun violence.

He is now being awarded by the Boy Scouts of America with the Honor Medal, given to a youth member or adult leader who has demonstrated unusual heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save a life at considerable risk. The award has been given to 2,354 people since its inception in 1923.

“I did what I needed to do,” Sellers said. “I didn’t think I would receive an award, but I’m honored.”

The shooting in Harsh Park quickly became the center of a national debate on violence. While Sellers said there is no “simple solution” to the city’s violence, he credits his training to become an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Boy Scouts, and his family with his success.

“If most of the children that are out there now were in Scouting, they would know right from wrong better than they do now,” he said.

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