A woman was shot to death while pushing a child in a stroller on Chicago's South Side, police said Friday, and family identified the victim as a cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade.
The 32-year-old woman, whom family identified as Nykea Aldridge, was apparently the unintended victim of a gang shooting, police said. She was walking around 3:30 p.m. in the 6300 block of South Calumet when two males approached another male and opened fire, police said.
Several hours after his cousin was shot, Wade sent out a tweet about the killing.
Pastor Jolinda Wade, Dwyane's mother, identified Aldridge as her niece. Family spokesman Pastor Edward Jones confirmed Aldridge is Dwyane's cousin.
"This is one particular time our family wished we didn't have to be speaking to the media about anything," Jolinda Wade said. "(I) just sat up on a panel yesterday, (with ESPN wesbite) The Undefeated, talking about the violence that's going on within our city of Chicago, never knowing that we would be the ones ... actually living and experiencing it."
Aldridge was taken to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County where she was pronounced dead. A relative took custody of the child, police said.
Jones said Aldridge is a mother of four and had just had a baby. Jones said she and her family had recently relocated to the neighborhood and she was on her way to register her kids at school when she was shot.
It was not immediately clear which school Aldridge was going to, but the shooting happened close to Dulles School, which was partially blocked off as police analyzed the scene.
"She loved God, loved her family," Jones said. "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."
Wade called the killing senseless and said the Wade and Morris families were in a "sensitive, grieving place."
"She wasn't bothering anybody, just going to register her kids in school — and bullets that fly around have no name decided to find its way to her head," she said.
Wade said this is the second child her sister, Aldridge's mother, has lost to gun violence.
Wade asked for prayers and said she will continue to be proactive in the community.
"We're still going to help and empower people like the one who senselessly shot my niece in the head," she said. "And all of our young people out there, senselessly shooting each other."
Two men are being questioned as persons of interest and an investigation is ongoing, police said.
Dwyane Wade decided to join his hometown Bulls this summer, and has been a longtime supporter of the South Side, where his foundation has been active. In November, after Chicago police released video of Laquan McDonald’s fatal shooting on the South Side, Wade wrote the teenager’s name on his shoes for an NBA game, along with the hashtag "#justice."
The Bulls released the following statement on the shooting death: "The entire Chicago Bulls organization is deeply saddened by the news of Dwyane Wade’s cousin, Nykea Aldridge. We send our deepest condolences to the entire Wade family during this difficult time."