Skip to content

New Here?

Pain Is ‘Indescribable’ For Gun Victim Hadiya Pendleton’s Mother

February 14, 2013

Hadiya’s been murdered. She’s been buried now. But the pain — this pain — is indescribable. … I would never, never want anyone to feel this pain. It’s irrecoverable.

— Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton,
mother of Hadiya Pendleton

Shannon-Watts-with-PendletonTHIS IS WHY WE DELIVERED VALENTINES TODAY IN WASHINGTON DC: 1MM4GC Founder Shannon Watts, right, with Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton, mother of Hadiya Pendleton, 15-year-old majorette who was shot to death just one week after performing in President Obama’s inauguration festivities.

Click to listen to Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton's interview on NPR.

Click to listen to Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton’s interview on NPR.

Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton was leading a meeting at work last month when she got a phone call any mother would call horrific. Her 15-year-old daughter, Hadiya Pendleton, had been shot while with friends on Chicago’s South Side.

“I went into temporary shock, I grabbed my nearest coworker … [and said] ‘Help me understand what they’re saying, because clearly they’re not talking about my baby,'” she tells Michel Martin, host of NPR’s Tell Me More. When she got to the hospital, a nurse told her Pendleton had died.

Hadiya Pendleton was shot just days after traveling to Washington, D.C., to participate in festivities surrounding President Obama’s inauguration. Her death made national headlines, adding fuel to calls for stricter gun control and focusing attention on Chicago, where more than 500 people were killed last year.

If you're a member of the media, please send inquiries to [email protected]