Aldridge, who was pushing her baby in a stroller at the time, sustained head and arm injuries, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner.
The baby was unharmed. The victim, a mother of four, had recently moved to the neighborhood and was headed to register her children for school.
““My cousin was killed today in Chicago,” Wade tweeted. “Another act of senseless gun violence. 4 kids lost their mom for NO REASON. Unreal.”
One of the shooters is reportedly being questioned by police.
Photo credit: Instagram – @dwyanewade
The cousin of Chicago Bulls basketball star Dwyane Wade was shot and killed in Chicago while pushing a baby stroller. Nykea Aldridge is Wade’s first cousin, said Chicago Patch. She is also the niece of Jolinda Wade, a Chicago pastor who is Dwyane’s mother. Patch says that Aldridge was caught in the crossfire as she pushed the stroller carrying her newborn baby on August 26.
Dwyane Wade’s mother, Jolinda, gave an emotional statement to the news media in which she said the family would continue its proactive efforts to stop gun violence in Chicago. The slaying comes the day after Wade and his mother appeared on a panel about gun violence.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Aldridge Was Going to an Elementary School Nearby to Register Her Children For Classes & Dwayne Wade Tweeted ‘Enough Is Enough’
Aldridge was shot in the head and arm around 3:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon, said Chicago Patch. Dwyane Wade weighed in emotionally on Twitter a few hours later:
Dulles Elementary School is near the shooting. Pastor Edward Jones, a relative and family spokesperson, told Chicago 5 that Aldridge had just had a baby and “recently relocated to the neighborhood and she was on her way to register her kids at school when she was shot.”
Dwyane Wade’s mother, Jolinda, was on a panel discussing gun violence just the day before Aldridge was shot.
2. Aldridge Was a Mother of Four & ‘Just Wanted a Better Life’
WGN said Aldridge was 32-years-old and a mother of four children. The infant in the stroller was not injured. “She loved God, loved her family,” Jones said to Chicago 5. “Just like everyone else, just wanted a better life, to live a better life. This is tragic because now it struck home with us. Something has to be done. This has got to stop.”
The family spoke to the Chicago news media after the shooting, calling it a “senseless killing that has to stop.”
“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. “…We are now in a very, very sensitive grieving place…we are still going to be proactive…we are still going to help and empower people like the one who senselessly shot my niece in the head…we’re still going to help these people to transform their minds and give them a different direction.”
Wade has spoken about gun violence and racial profiling in recent months.
Jolinda Wade said Nykea was the second child her sister had lost to gun violence. Dwyane Wade also appeared on the panel with his mother the day before the shooting, discussing gun violence, but he appeared via satellite, said ESPN.
3. A Man Walking Nearby Was the Intended Target, Not Aldridge, Police Say
ABC 7 said, “Police said two men approached another man… and opened fire around 3:30 p.m. in the 6300-block of South Calumet.” It appears Nykea was caught in the crossfire and was not the target, news reports said. A relative came to the scene and took the baby from the stroller, The Chicago Tribune said.
4. Police Have a Person in Custody They Are Questioning & the Shooting Might be Gang-Related
Chicago 5 says police are investigating whether the shooting stemmed from a gang feud. Police have an unidentified person in custody in the slaying. Aldridge was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to ABC News.
5. Aldridge Was Studying Early Childcare & Development & She Is One of More than 2,000 Chicago Victims of Gun Violence This Year Alone
On Facebook, Aldridge said she was studying early childhood care & development at Kenny King college. More than 2,600 people have been shot in the city, said ESPN, adding that “Chicago is on pace to record its largest number of homicides since 1997, when 761 people were killed in the city.”
ESPN noted that Wade’s mother was a drug dealer when he grew up in South Side Chicago, but she “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.”