A woman who was fatally shot while pushing a baby in a stroller on Chicago’s South Side has been identified as a cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade.
Authorities say Nykea Aldridge, 32, was killed when two males walked up and fired shots at a third man about 3:30 p.m. Friday. Police say the woman was not the intended target.
Wade addressed his cousin’s death via Twitter.
My cousin was killed today in Chicago. Another act of senseless gun violence. 4 kids lost their mom for NO REASON. Unreal. #EnoughIsEnough
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) August 27, 2016
Wade’s mother, Jolinda Wade, spoke on behalf of the family Friday night while holding her sobbing sister close outside the emergency room where Aldridge was pronounced dead.
“Just sat up on a panel yesterday, The Undefeated, talking about the violence that’s going on within our city of Chicago, never knowing that the next day we would be the ones that would be actually living and experiencing it,” she said.
“We’re still going to try and help these people to transform their minds and give them a different direction, so this thing won’t keep happening. We’re still going to help empower people like the one who senselessly shot my niece in the head.”
The family did not take questions from reporters.
Dwyane Wade, who returned to his hometown by signing last month with the Bulls, and his mother both were part of a series of panel discussions on gun violence hosted Thursday by The Undefeated on ESPN.
The conversations were held at the South Side YMCA in Chicago and focused on athletes, their experiences with violence and police, and the responsibility to act. Wade, who was not in Chicago, appeared via satellite.
Police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office say Aldridge suffered gunshot wounds to her head and an arm. Police say the baby wasn’t hurt and that a relative has taken custody of the child.
Family spokesman Pastor Edward Jones said Aldridge was a mother of four and was walking to register her children for school. He said the family recently moved to the neighborhood.
Police said one of the males who fired shots was being questioned Friday evening, but later said they were questioning witnesses in the shooting and had no suspects in custody.
Chicago has been hit hard by violence this year. More than 2,600 people have been shot in the city, mainly on the South and West sides. With 463 murders as of Wednesday, Chicago is on pace to record its largest number of homicides since 1997, when 761 people were killed in the city. Its murder rate is higher than that of New York and Los Angeles.
Wade did not speak directly about gun violence during his appearance for The Undefeated but addressed “deep-rooted” divides in the community.
“We kinda adopted that mentality that, you know, it’s about me surviving,” Wade said, discussing Chicago’s history. “It’s important for all of us to help each other.”
Wade grew up in a South Side Chicago house headed by his mother, who was then a drug dealer. Jolinda Wade gave up drugs and turned her life around after being released from prison in 2003. Now a pastor, she sees the problems that contribute to the violence in the communities.
“Some parents have to work one, two and three jobs and can’t be there for their kids,” she said Thursday night. “Reality TV is raising our children today. And they’re going out on the street and being disconnected. … They grow up and look around, and nothing’s there.”
“The endless gun violence in places like Chicago, Dallas, not to mention Orlando, it has to stop. Enough. Enough is enough,” he said.
This is not the first time Wade’s family has been touched by gun violence. His nephew, Darin Johnson, was shot twice in the leg in 2012 but recovered.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.