Hundreds of friends, family and community members gathered Friday afternoon to mourn a 15-year-old Chicago girl gunned down last week at a South Side Park.
Visitation for Hadiya Pendleton was held at the Calahan Funeral Home, at 7030 S. Halsted St., from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Her funeral is set for 9 a.m. Saturday at the Greater Harvest Baptist Church, at 5141 S. State St.
Shatira Wilks, Pendleton's cousin, spoke on behalf of the family at the beginning of the visitation. She said Haydia's parents are "miserable."
"We want her to be remembered as the walking angel that she is," Wilks told reporters.
"She was the best kid a parent could ask for. She was the face of what all parents desire in a wonderful child."
First Lady Michelle Obama is scheduled to travel to Chicago Saturday to attend the service along with Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Gov. Pat Quinn is scheduled to speak.
"She's not being intrusive," Wilks said of the First Lady's attendance. "It's not about her being seen. She's really, really a concerned individual, and I think the best gesture that they could've done was to come out and support Hadiya, my cousin, as Hadiya supported the president during the inauguration."
Pendleton was killed last Tuesday at Kenwood Park on the city's South Side days after she performed at some of President Barack Obama's recent inauguration festivities. She was shot to death blocks from her school and about a mile from the president's and first lady's Chicago home.
Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said he believes Michelle Obama's visit "is rightfully bringing attention to the problems that every urban center in this country is experiencing every single day."
The reward leading to Pendleton's killer stands at $40,000. No arrests have been made, but Pendleton's cousin said she believes it's only a matter of time before someone comes forward with a solid lead.