Who Is Nykea Aldridge? Dwyane Wade's Cousin Was Killed In Chicago On Friday

The story is every bit horrific as it sounds: A woman was killed while walking through her neighborhood with her baby Friday afternoon in Chicago. She reportedly sustained a gunshot wound to her head and arm. She was not the target of the shooting, but she was more than just the victim of a senseless shooting. Who was Nykea Aldridge? She has a name, and a story.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Aldridge was pushing a stroller through the Parkway Gardens neighborhood when she was caught in a gunfight between two men. The men have no connection to Aldridge, authorities confirmed. No arrests have been made in connection with the shooting at this time.

A family spokesperson told reporters Friday night that Aldridge had just registered her children for the Dulles School of Excellence, an elementary school, because she had recently moved to the Parkway Gardens neighborhood. She was shot not far from the elementary school. Aldridge was just 32.

Aldridge was the first cousin of Dwyane Wade, a professional basketball player who just joined the Chicago Bulls this summer. Wade was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, where his cousin Aldridge also lived.

On Friday, August 26, Wade posted on Twitter: "My cousin was killed today in Chicago. Another act of senseless gun violence. 4 kids lost their mom for NO REASON. Unreal."

Wade later tweeted Aldridge's name, as well as a plea for Aldridge's community. "The city of Chicago is hurting," Wade tweeted. "We need more help and hands on deck."

The Chicago Bulls also released this statement on August 26:

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.

Aldridge was the mother of four children. The ages of her children have not been released, but the youngest child was only several weeks old. The baby has since been taken in by a family member, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The family spokesperson, the Rev. Edward Jones Sr., told the media on Friday that Aldridge was a Christian woman who loved her family. "[Nykea Aldridge]...aspired to make a life for herself and her family," Jones said.

Dwyane Wade's mother, Pastor Jolinda Wade, gave a brief news conference Friday night outside the hospital where Aldridge was taken. Wade stood hugging her sister Diane, who was Aldridge's mother.

"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," Jolinda Wade told reporters. "We're still going to help empower people like the one who senselessly shot my niece in the head."Image: Nykea Aldridge/Facebook