Family of Hadiya Pendleton`s gunman: We`re torn apart too - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Family of Hadiya Pendleton`s accused gunman: We`re torn apart too

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Family members of the man accused of shooting Hadiya Pendleton spoke out on his behalf Wednesday.

Janise Cooper is the aunt of Michael Ward, the 18-year-old South Side suspect accused of spraying six bullets into a group of high school teens, killing 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton and wounding two others.

"Our family is just torn apart," Cooper says. "Just like the young lady's family is torn apart and we know we cannot bring her back."

Cooper says she is speaking for Ward's family, when she admits that Ward has made some mistakes, but is not necessarily the killer.

"I'm not going to say [he will not be found guilty]," Cooper says in response to a question. "I'm just going to say, the truth is going to come out."

Cooper described Ward as a good young man, who is the father of one child. She did not discuss his so-called "mistakes."

Prosecutors say his record includes a gun charge and juvenile arrests for robbery, theft and battery. Prosecutors also say he is a gang member who thought he was firing on a rival gang when he shot Hadiya Pendleton.

"That's the first time I'm hearing about that…that he's been a reputed gang member. Like I said, he made mistakes," Cooper admits. "Young people make mistakes. They just have to get back up and get on the right track."

Eliel Brown, a cousin of Wards, said his cousin has a good heart.

"I know he's my cousin, like he's good at heart," Brown says of Warn. "He's a good kid and everything. He loves his family, you know. He's just, he's a good kid."

"Michael is going to come out of this, and Mr. Williams is going to come out of this," Cooper says referring to her nephew and the second man charged in the murder. "We're just praying that the truth will come out. The truth will come out. The truth is going to come out."

Prosecutors say Kenneth Williams provided the weapon and drove the getaway car after the shooting. Both men will be back in court on March 1st.

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