FROM CNN WIRES:
Chicago (CNN) - A teen who performed at events around President Barack Obama's inauguration was shot to death in Chicago this week, and now her story has become part of the debate in Washington over gun violence nationwide.
The shooting death of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton came up in a U.S. Senate hearing and a White House press briefing Wednesday.
"She was an honor student and a majorette," said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois. Performing at inaugural events last week "was the highlight of her young, 15-year-old life," he said.
Speaking at Wednesday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence, Durbin mentioned Pendleton's death as he argued that more must be done to stop gun crimes.
"Yesterday, in a rainstorm after school, she raced to a shelter. A gunman came in and shot her dead," he said. "Just a matter of days after the happiest day of her life, she's gone."
The park shelter where she was shot is just a mile from Obama's home in Chicago.
This morning on "Early Start," Hadiya's dad Nathaniel and godfather Damon Stewart talk about her legacy, and changes they hope to see in gun control laws.
READ MORE: Teen who performed at Obama inaugural events shot dead in Chicago
Guns are baned in Chicago. This is a prime example of how serious criminals view gun laws. The bans are just another barrier to be crossed and will be crossed. There is a Mental Health crisis going on here in this country, and guns are the scapegoat to which all the blame goes. I am a proud responsible gun owner, and would only fire upon a person is if they were endagering myself or someone around me. This is gone too far, I have rights as stated in the Constitution and they shall not be infringed.
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