This week, Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk announced plans to name a bipartisan gun safety bill after the Chicago teen.
“Today, I sat down with Illinois families who lost loved ones due to senseless gun violence,” Kirk said in a statement released Wednesday. “I asked Cleopatra Pendleton, mother of 15-year-old Hadiya who was shot and killed by gang gunfire in Chicago, for permission to name anti-illegal gun trafficking legislation after her daughter.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, a Kirk spokesman said Hadiya’s parents were “receptive” to the idea of naming the bill for their daughter and added: “We will work with them on it.”
The Hadiya Pendleton bill would aim to make gun trafficking a federal crime and to end so-called straw purchases of guns in order to dry up the supply of guns to what he termed “dangerous drug gangs.” A straw purchase occurs when someone buys a gun on behalf of another person, usually someone who could not pass a federal background check.
“For Hadiya and thousands of other victims of gun violence, we must break through the typical Washington process and actually get something done that will save lives,” his statement said.
In the most recent developments surrounding Hadiya’s death eighteen-year-old Michael Ward and 20-year-old Kenneth Williams have been charged with first degree murder and have been denied bail. Apparently the shooting involved two rival guns and mistaken identity. Williams allegedly said he and ward were searching for members of a rival gang who had killed a friend of Ward’s.
“I am very excited that the murderers who hurt my baby have been caught,” Hadiya’s mother, Cleopatra Cowley, told WBBM. “I’m happy that she’s not a cold case.”