버락 오바마 대통령의 재선 취임식에서 축하 공연을 했던 여고생이 총에 맞아 숨진 사건이 발생했다. 시카고 언론에 따르면 인근 공원에서 신원 불명의 한 남성이 쏜 총에 맞아 숨진 것으로 밝혀졌다.
학생들을 향해 총을 발사한 남성은 범행 후 사건 현장에서 달아났다.
하디야 펜들턴(15)은 등에 총을 맞고 시카고 대학병원으로 옮겨진 지 30분만에 사망했다. 펜들턴 외에도 17세 남학생 1명이 총격을 받아 중태상태이며 또 다른 남학생은 다리에 총상을 입고 치료 중이다.
시카고 경찰은 “하디야는 폭력조직에 가담해있지 않지만 사건 발생 당시 함께 어울려 있던 학생들 가운데 폭력조직원이 섞여 있다”며 “오발 사고일 가능성이 있다”고 밝혔다.
사고 현장은 시카고 남부에서 비교적 안정적인 지역이며 오바마 대통령의 자택 소재지인 켄우드지역과 인접해있다.
주민들은 “사고 없이 조용하고 평화로운 동네였다”며 “모두가 충격에 빠진 상태” 라고 말했다.
한편 제이 카니 백악관 대변인은 30일 브리핑에서 오바마 대통령과 미셸 여사가 하디야의 죽음을 애도하면서 가족들에게 위로의 마음을 표했다고 전했다.
오바마 대통령은 “모든 악을 근절할 수는 없다 해도 만일 단 한 명의 어린 목숨을 구할 수만 있다면 우리는 총기 폭력에 단호히 맞서야 할 의무가 있다”면서 “코네 티컷주 뉴타운 초등학교 총기 참사, 콜로라도주 오로라 사건, 버지니아공대 사건, 위스콘신주 시크사원 사건, 시카고 총기 사고 등 모두가 우리가 해결해야 할 문제의 또 다른 사례일 뿐”이라고 강조했다. (코리아헤럴드)
<관련 영문 기사>
Teen performer at Obama inaugural events shot dead
A 15-year-old girl who had performed in President Barack Obama’s inauguration festivities is the latest face on the ever-increasing homicide toll in the president’s hometown, killed in a Chicago park as she talked with friends by a gunman who apparently was not even aiming at her.
Chicago police said Hadiya Pendleton, who performed in a marching band at this month’s inauguration, was in a park about a mile (2 kilometers) from Obama’s home in a South Side neighborhood Tuesday afternoon when a man opened fire on the group. Hadiya was shot in the back as she tried to escape. The city’s 42nd slaying is part of Chicago’s bloodiest January in more than a decade, following on the heels of 2012, which ended with more than 500 homicides for the first time since 2008. It also comes at a time when Obama, spurred by the Connecticut elementary school massacre in December, is actively pushing for tougher gun laws, though he faces ardent opposition from the National Rifle Association and its allies in Congress.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday that the president and the first lady’s “thoughts and prayers are with” the teen’s family, adding: “And as the president has said, we will never be able to eradicate every act of evil in this country, but if we can save any one child’s life, we have an obligation to try when it comes to the scourge of gun violence.”
In Chicago, gangs routinely and often indiscriminately open fire. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and McCarthy are pushing for tougher local, state and national gun laws and longer prison sentences for offenders.
About three blocks from Hadiya’s school, she and a group of 10-12 young people, including members of her volleyball team, had taken refuge under a canopy at a park to avoid the rain Tuesday afternoon. A man climbed a fence behind the park, ran at the group and started shooting, and then jumped back over the fence and into a white Nissan. The group scattered, but Hadiya was shot once in the back and a teenage boy was shot in the leg.
Police said Hadiya had no arrest record and there was no indication she was a member of a gang or was the gunman’s target. In fact, McCarthy said there are no indications that anyone in the group was gang-affiliated. He said the police suspect that the gunman may be a member of a gang that considers the park its turf and that he mistook somebody in the group as someone from an encroaching rival gang. (AP)