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2 alleged gang members held in Chicago shooting death

Hadiya Pendleton died after being shot about a mile from the Chicago home of President Obama.

Damon Stewart

Hadiya Pendleton died after being shot about a mile from the Chicago home of President Obama.

CHICAGO — Two men charged in the death of a 15-year-old Chicago honor student were ordered held without bail Tuesday at a hearing in which prosecutors contended the shooting happened while they were hunting for members of a rival gang.

Hadiya Pendleton died after being shot in a park about a mile from the Chicago home of President Obama on Jan. 29, just days after she performed during Obama’s inauguration festivities in Washington. Her death was among dozens of homicides in Chicago last month, though her background and ties to Obama thrust her death into the national headlines.

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Cook County Judge Israel Desierto ordered Michael Ward, 18, and Kenneth Williams, 20, held without bail after prosecutors told the judge in chilling detail what happened the day Pendleton died.

Prosecutors said Ward and Williams were in a vehicle circling the park when they spotted Pendleton’s group and thought they were rival gang members.

Williams handed Ward a gun, and Ward snuck up on the group and opened fire, shooting at least six times, prosecutors said.

‘‘She was able to make it outside of the park and then collapsed on the street,’’ Assistant Cook County state’s attorney Jennifer Sexton said. Pendleton died later that day.

Police have not recovered the firearm.

Sexton said prosecutors have cellphone records placing Williams near the park on the day of the shooting.

Pendleton, a popular high school majorette, was with a group of friends who took cover during a rainstorm under a canopy in the park.

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