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Chicago police say the two men accused of killing a 15-year-old honor student mistook her and her friends for rival gang members who’d shot one of the men over the summer.

Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, pictured, says murder charges were filed Monday against 18-year-old Michael Ward and 20-year-old Kenneth Williams.

Both are accused in the Jan. 29 death of Hadiya Pendleton. She and her friends weren’t affiliated with gangs but were shot at in a park not far from President Barack Obama’s Chicago home. She’d recently performed during his inauguration ceremonies in Washington.

McCarthy says Ward told investigators the shooting was meant as retaliation for Williams being shot in the arm in July.

McCarthy says they were arrested while driving to a strip club Saturday, just hours after Pendleton’s funeral.



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