Charges may be filed later Monday in murder of Chicago teen: police

CHICAGO Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:31pm EST

Mourners attend the funeral and wake for Hadiya Pendleton, who was fatally shot on January 29 in what police say was a case of mistaken identity in a gang turf war, in Chicago February 9, 2013. REUTERS/John Gress

Mourners attend the funeral and wake for Hadiya Pendleton, who was fatally shot on January 29 in what police say was a case of mistaken identity in a gang turf war, in Chicago February 9, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/John Gress

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - Chicago Police say they are questioning two "persons of interest" in the murder of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton and could file charges as early as Monday evening.

Pendleton was shot and killed January 29, eight days after performing with her high school band at President Barack Obama's inauguration. Chicago has been plagued by gun violence and her killing has become a focus for those calling for stronger gun control nationally.

"Two male persons of interest, ages 18 and 20, are currently being questioned in connection with the homicide investigation," said Chicago Police Officer Jose Estrada, a police spokesman.

Police lineups are still being conducted, but Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy expects to give more information and possibly file charges later Monday evening, according to Estrada.

First lady Michelle Obama attended Pendleton's funeral on Saturday, along with other dignitaries that included Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Congressmen Danny Davis and Bobby Rush, both Chicago Democrats.

According to a White House official, Pendleton's parents Cleopatra and Nathaniel, will attend Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday. Shatira Wilks, a spokeswoman for the family, could not be reached for comment.

Over the last few weeks the president has presented proposals to reduce gun violence across the country.

Pendleton was fatally shot in what police say was a case of mistaken identity in a gang turf war as she and her friends sheltered from a rainstorm in a park near her school. Pendleton had been a sophomore at Martin Luther King Jr. College Prep High School.

The Obama family's home is about a mile from the park where Pendleton was killed.

(Reporting by Renita D. Young; Editing by Mary Wisniewski, Greg McCune and Dan Grebler)

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