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Shooting Death of NBA Star Dwyane Wade’s Cousin Highlights Gang Violence in Chicago

The death of NBA star Dwayne Wade’s first cousin, shot as she was pushing her baby in a stroller on the sidewalk in a South Side neighborhood, is once again casting a bloody shadow over the City of Chicago.

Nykea Aldridge, 32, was out walking her baby in her Parkway Gardens neighborhood on the city’s south side on Friday afternoon when two men standing nearby began exchanging gunfire. Aldridge was caught in the crossfire. She was struck in the arm and head. The mother of four was pronounced dead shortly afterward at a nearby hospital. The child was protected by a neighbor and was not injured.

Chicago Police have questioned several people but no charges have yet been filed, ABC News reports.

The young woman had only recently returned to Chicago and family said she had just enrolled her oldest child in the city’s schools.

Aldridge is the cousin of Chicago Bulls player and Chicago native Dwyane Wade. The 12-time All-Star commented about his cousin’s murder on Twitter.

“My cousin was killed today in Chicago,” Wade wrote on Friday. “Another act of senseless gun violence. 4 kids lost their mom for NO REASON. Unreal.”

The Chicago Bulls also issued a statement on the tragic crime saying, “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,” the team wrote.

Speaking to ESPN the following day, the NBA player said, “This is something that didn’t start today, this is something that isn’t going to end tomorrow. Hopefully, eventually, we can stop it.”

The Wade family and the Bulls were not alone in remarking about the murder of Nykea Aldridge. GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump also noted the crime and passed on his thoughts and prayers.

Chicago’s murder rate has soared over the last year and is on track to end with more deaths than the city has seen in decades, and perhaps ever. Thus far this year the Windy City has seen an incredible 2,811 shooting incidents from which 432 citizens have been shot and killed.

Trump has been making a special appeal to African American voters over the past few weeks and this latest outrage in Chicago — one of the most dangerous cities in America — is exactly the sort of thing he has been warning about.

Later the real estate mogul also mentioned the crime during a campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa, according to CNN.

“Just yesterday, the cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade, a great guy Dwyane Wade, was the victim of a tragic shooting in Chicago,” Trump said. “It breaks all of our hearts to see it. It’s horrible. It’s horrible and it’s only getting worse. This shouldn’t happen in our country. It shouldn’t happen in America.”

“So we send our thoughts and prayers to the family and we also promise to fight for a much, much better tomorrow,” he added.

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Warner Todd Huston