(CHICAGO) — Two brothers have been charged in connection with the shooting death of Nykea Aldridge, a cousin of NBA star Dwayne Wade, in a case that has helped to shine a spotlight on the spate of gun violence in Chicago.
Darwin Sorrells Jr., 26, and Derren Sorrells, 22, were both charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder in the death of Aldridge.
Aldridge, 32, was pushing a stroller on the city’s South Side on Friday afternoon when two men exchanged gunfire nearby, hitting her in the arm and the head, according to police.
She was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson spoke passionately about Aldridge’s murder at a press conference Sunday.
Her life “was cut short by gunfire by two convicted felons,” Johnson said. “It isn’t noteworthy because [Aldridge has a] famous family member,” he said, referring to Wade.
Johnson described the Sorrells brothers as known “gang members,” and suggested that Chicago’s problem with gun violence is out of proportion to its population.
“Chicago has recovered a gun for every hour of 2016,” Johnson said, adding that nearly 6,000 illegal guns have been recovered by authorities so far this year. That is more than the number of guns recovered in the two larger cities of New York and Los Angeles combined, he said.
After Aldridge was killed, a relative took custody of the child, who was not hurt, according to ABC station WLS-TV.
Wade, who was born in Chicago, signed with the Chicago Bulls this July in a move that was celebrated by the city as a homecoming. After news of his cousin’s death, he labeled the incident “senseless.”
Saturday, he took to Twitter and elaborated on comments he made Friday.
“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!,” Wade wrote.
He followed that by writing, “These young kids are screaming for help!!!”
Wade’s mother, Pastor Jolinda Wade, echoed her family’s pain while speaking to reporters Friday at the hospital.
“We are now in a very, very sensitive grieving place,” she said while holding her sobbing sister Diana.
Despite the tragedy, Wade’s mother spoke of hope for those who commit such crimes.
“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,” she said. “We’re still going to help empower people like the one who senselessly shot my niece in the head.”
In a statement Friday night, the Chicago Bulls said, “The entire Chicago Bulls organization is deeply saddened by the news of Dwayne Wade’s cousin, Nykea Aldridge. We send our deepest condolences to the entire Wade family during this difficult time.”
On Thursday, Wade spoke via satellite on a panel hosted by ESPN that was focused on gun violence. He called the issue “deep-rooted.”
“This is something that didn’t start today; this is something that isn’t going to end tomorrow,” he said. “Hopefully, eventually, we can stop it.”
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