By DANIEL BROWN and MATTHEW HENDRICKONS
Chicago Sun-Times Wire
Less than 24 hours after participating in an ESPN town hall on violence in Chicago, Bulls star Dwyane Wade was devastated by news his cousin Nykea Aldridge was shot and killed while pushing a baby stroller Friday afternoon in the South Side Parkway Gardens neighborhood.
It’s the latest example of senseless violence in a year of extraordinary gun violence in Chicago.
“My cousin was killed today in Chicago,” Wade tweeted Friday night. “Another act of senseless gun violence. 4 kids lost their mom for NO REASON. Unreal. #EnoughIsEnough.”
About 3:30 p.m., Aldridge, 32, was walking with a man and a baby in a stroller in the 6300 block of South Calumet when two male suspects fired shots at a third man nearby, according to Chicago Police.
Aldridge, of the 6400 block of South King Drive, was taken to Stroger Hospital with gunshot wounds to the head and arm, and was pronounced dead at 4:15 p.m., according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
“As she was walking down the street some type of altercation occurred which didn’t involve her,” Deputy Chief of Detectives James Jones told reporters at Chicago Police headquarters Friday night.
“We are talking to a couple of individuals that were in the area that have given us information regarding the shooting,” Jones added. “We don’t know what their involvement is and we are trying to hash out specifically and verify their story.”
He had few other details to share, saying the investigation “is very early in its stages right now.”
A relative took custody of the baby, who was not injured.
Police said Aldridge was not the intended target of what Jones called a “senseless shooting.”
The Bulls issued a statement Friday night saying “the entire Chicago Bulls organization” was “deeply saddened” by Aldridge’s death.
“We send our deepest condolences to the entire Wade family during this difficult time,” the team’s statement said.
Jolinda Wade, mother of Dwyane Wade, talked with reporters Friday evening at Stroger Hospital. She participated in the nationally televised town hall with her son the night before.
“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,” Jolinda Wade said.
She told reporters that her niece was struck by “bullets that have no name” as she was on her way to enroll her children in school.
“We’re still going to help empower people like the one who senselessly shot my niece in the head,” Wade told reporters as she held her sister in her arms.
Jolinda Wade said it was the second child her sister has lost to gun violence.
Wade, senior pastor of New Creation Binding and Loosing Ministry in Chicago, spoke of the importance of giving the young men who are shooting each other in Chicago help to transform their minds and find a better direction with their lives.
“We ask that everyone continue to pray for us,” she said.
“She wanted to raise her family and see her family do better and was aspiring to do better herself,” Rev. Edward Jones Jr., a family friend, said Friday night. “She’s warm, loving, joyful — that’s the only way I can describe her.”
On Saturday, Dwyane Wade posted this message on Twitter: “The city of Chicago is hurting. We need more help& more hands on deck. Not for me and my family but for the future of our world. The YOUTH!”