Hadiya Pendleton

Hadiya Pendleton was fatally shot in the back and a 16-year-old boy was wounded in the leg, authorities said.

After taking exams Tuesday, Hadiya Pendleton and some schoolmates decided to hang out at a park a few blocks from their South Side high school.

But the trip ended in tragedy when the 15-year-old King College Prep High School student was fatally shot in the back and a 16-year-old boy was wounded in the leg, authorities said.

The shooting occurred about 2:20 p.m. in the 4500 block of South Oakenwald Avenue, police said.

Ten to 12 teenagers were hanging out under a canopy in Harsh Park to avoid the rain when the male gunman climbed over a fence, ran to the group and started firing, police said.

As the teens ran, Pendleton and the boy were shot, police said.

The gunman jumped into a car and drove off, police said.

Pendleton was not part of a gang, but most of the teenagers who were fired upon appear to be gang members, police said. None of the teens near Pendleton stayed at the scene to help her or wait for help, police said.

Pendleton does not appear to be the target, police said.

Pendleton was a sophomore at King, friends said. The boy also is a student at King, they said, though Pendleton's relatives said they were not sure what school he attended.

Pendleton and the boy were taken to Comer Children's Hospital, police and fire officials said. Pendleton was pronounced dead at 3:10 p.m. The boy is in critical condition, police said.

At Comer on Tuesday night, a group of young people sat and stood inside the entrance to the emergency room, along with the principal of King.

Many hugged as they brushed away tears and consoled each other and Pendleton's parents.

"She was awesome," one girl said of Pendleton.

Friends of the slain girl said King was dismissed early Tuesday because of exams, and students went to Harsh Park on Oakenwald.

Friends said the girl was a majorette and a volleyball player, a friendly and sweet presence at King, which is one of the city's elite selective enrollment schools.

Neighbors reported hearing shots about 2:20 p.m.

Desiree Sanders said she heard six gunshots and called 911 after a neighbor told her that some teens had been shot. Neighbors told her as many as 10 young people had been in the small park.

Police crime data show no serious crimes happened in the 4400 or 4500 blocks of South Oakenwald Avenue from Dec. 19 to Jan. 20.

"It's a great neighborhood. Nothing like this has happened since I've been here" on the block, said Roxanne Hubbard, who has lived in the neighborhood for 19 years.

As of Tuesday night, no one had been arrested in connection with the shooting.

Tribune reporter Liam Ford contributed.

jmdelgado@tribune.com