CHICAGO: Police questioned two people Saturday in connection with the shooting death of a cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade as they looked into the possibility that the stray bullet that killed her was fired during a robbery attempt, authorities said.
Nykea Aldridge, 32, and a man were walking on the South Side of Chicago about 3:30 p.m. Friday when two men approached and someone began firing at the man, authorities said.
Aldridge, who was pushing her baby in a stroller near a Chicago school where she intended to register her children, was hit in the head and the arm and taken to a hospital, where she died, police said. The baby was not hurt, and a relative took the child, police said.
Police said Aldridge, a mother of four young children, including the baby who is just weeks old, was an unintended target.
Investigators are looking into the possibility that Aldridge was struck as she walked near an unfolding robbery, or that the shooting was a case of mistaken identity, according to a Chicago police spokesman.
Detectives were working quickly to establish the motive and were questioning two people of interest in the shooting Saturday.
“They’re solely people of interest,” said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.
Chicago has been plagued by gun violence for years, especially in a few South and West Side neighborhoods. This July alone, there were 65 homicides — the most that month since 2006.
Chicago had recorded 381 homicides by the end of July, up 30 percent from the same period of 2015.
It is not the first time Wade’s family in Chicago has been affected by gun violence. His nephew, Darin Johnson, was shot twice in the leg in 2012 when two gunmen opened fire in a South Side convenience store. One man was killed and five, including Johnson, were injured.
On Thursday, Wade was interviewed about growing up in Chicago’s violent streets as part of a televised ESPN program recorded at the South Side YMCA. Wade spoke about being insulated from the influence of gang violence and drugs by his family. “My experience, when I was [in Chicago], it was a lot of us killing us,” he said.
Wade tweeted to his nearly 6 million followers about his cousin’s death, saying Friday it was an “act of senseless gun violence” and posting Saturday morning that Chicago needs “more help& more hands on deck.” Wade ended both days of tweets with the hashtag “EnoughIsEnough.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.