Updated 02/01/2013 – 5:16 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Contributions continued to pour in Friday to increase the reward for information in the murder of a 15-year-old honors student, bringing the total reward to $40,000.
Chicago police announced Friday afternoon that St. Sabina Church had contributed $10,000 for the reward, on top of $30,000 that was already being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for killing Hadiya Pendleton, a King College Prep High School sophomore.
Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said he hopes the reward helps police solve the case.
“It may be motivation for somebody who knows something to say something. If that doesn’t do it, then maybe we should look at our consciences,” McCarthy said as he stood with the ministers at King College Prep, where Hadiya was an honors student, volleyball player and school band majorette.
Meantime, Hadiya’s friends and neighbors marched from the school to the park where she died, to honor her memory.
Hadiya was gunned down in Vivian Gordon Harsh Park on the 4400 block of South Oakenwald Avenue, as she and about a dozen schoolmates were sheltering themselves from the rain under a canopy on Tuesday. About a week before the shooting, Hadiya had performed with the school band at President Barack Obama’s inauguration.
Among those marching to the park on Friday was Hadiya’s best friend, a fellow 15-year-old who was with Hadiya when she was shot.
“It feels really weird going back to the place where my best friend got shot,” she said.
Hadiya’s friend was too afraid to reveal her identity, but she said she felt she had to be there for Hadiya. So, despite the cold and heartache, she joined the others and marched to honor her fallen friend.
Walking to the park brought her back to her friend’s final moments as Hadiya lay dying.
“Everybody was just like we love you Hi-Dee, you’re going to make it through, stay with us, stay with us,” she said. “Just trying to keep her, trying to keep her here.”
She said she never really thought Hadiya would die.
“I thought she was going to make it through. I really thought she was going to make it,” she said. “It’s still unreal. We still can’t believe that she’s gone.”
A petition is reportedly circulating, urging the president to attend Hadiya’s funeral.
Hadiya’s funeral will be at Greater Harvest Missionary Baptist Church, 5141 S. State St., on Feb. 9, at 11 a.m.
Visitation will be held on Feb. 8 from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Calahan Funeral Home at 7030 S. Halsted St. There will also be visitation at the church before the funeral on Feb. 9.
The funeral directors at the South Side mortuary deal with the gunfire deaths of more than a dozen children and teens every year.
“I see young children that possibly have a great future in society, that could make a difference in society, being cut short in their life, and it affects you. It’s a thing that I have to pray about,” owner Ed Calahan tells CBS 2’s Mike Parker.