After learning about the death of his big sister, 10-year-old Nathaniel Pendleton Jr. recalled how she would play with him whenever she came home from school.
She would etch "I miss you" and "I love you" on his arm or greet her little brother with a few gentle slaps on his cheeks:
"She said it was with love," he said. "It's very painful to see your big sister get slaughtered."
The soft-spoken Nathaniel teared up while he went through photos of his big sister on his phone. He now has to deal with never being able to see her again.
Hadiya was shot dead at Harsh Park in Chicago while hanging out with some friends after school exams. About a dozen teens had taken shelter under a canopy during a rainstorm when a boy or man jumped a fence in the park, ran toward them and opened fire around 2:20 p.m., police said.
Hadiya was wounded in the back and a 16-year-old boy -- also a student at King -- was shot in the leg, police said. The attacker got into an auto and fled, police said. No arrests have been reported.
The Chicago Tribune is reporting that her grieving family remembers her quirks and sense of humor to get through the pain.
Kimiko Pettis, Hadiya's 32-year-old aunt, laughed when she talked about her niece's goofy personality. "We really miss her," Pettis said. "She was a remarkable young lady and such a great asset to our family."
Hadiya was a busy but lighthearted teen, always trying to get a laugh from her family. Just Tuesday, she put on what she thought was a "fabulous outfit" and make-up before school.
"She popped out of the bathroom saying. 'I'm ready!'" Pettis said, throwing her arms in the air.
The sophomore had aspirations to become a pharmacist or a journalist and because she couldn't decide, her parents encouraged her to double major. The teen, who was involved in many extra-curricular activities, had said she wanted to attend Northwestern University.
But now she won't get to do any of those things because a bullet has cut her life short.
We continue to keep Hadiya and Nathaniel and the rest of her family in our thoughts and prayers.
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune