First lady Michelle Obama joined hundreds of mourners Saturday morning to pay their respects to slain teen Hadiya Pendleton.
Pendleton, a member of her high school band’s majorette squad, was shot and killed just a few days after performing for President Barack Obama’s inauguration.
According to the Associated Press, the first lady met quietly with Pendleton’s family before the funeral. She grew up not far from the South Side Chicago park in which Pendleton was shot by a stray bullet.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan and White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett joined the first lady at the event.
The first lady’s office released a statement in advance of her attendance:
“As a mother and Chicagoan, the first lady was heartbroken to learn of the tragic loss of Hadiya Pendleton due to senseless gun violence. Too many times, we’ve seen young people struck down with so much of their lives ahead of them. The first lady is traveling to her funeral on Saturday to offer her condolences and support to Hadiya’s family and loved ones.”
Hundreds had signed a White House petition urging President Barack Obama to attend her funeral.
Check out photos from the funeral.