While Dwyane Wade and his mother were speaking out about the death of Nykea Aldridge, Wade’s first cousin who was shot and killed on the South Side of Chicago on Friday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump attempted to politicize the tragedy.
Wade, who recently left the Miami Heat to sign with his hometown Chicago Bulls, posted a tweet Friday denouncing gun violence.
On Saturday, Wade posted about Chicago needing more help to combat the violence.
Wade’s mother, Jolinda Wade, a pastor at New Creation church, spoke on behalf of the family Friday outside the hospital where Aldridge was pronounced dead.
“Just sat up on a panel yesterday... talking about the violence that’s going on within our city of Chicago, never knowing that the next day we would be the ones that would be actually living and experiencing it,” Jolinda said as she held her sister. “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. We’re still going to help empower people like the one who senselessly shot my niece in the head.”
Wade and his mother were part of a series of panel discussions on gun violence hosted Thursday by The Undefeated on ESPN and held at the South Side YMCA in Chicago. Dwyane Wade was not in Chicago for the discussions. He appeared via satellite.
Following the discussion and less than 24 hours before his cousin was killed, Wade posted on Twitter: “Every 16 mins someone in Chicago is killed by a firearm.”
Meanwhile, Trump took to Twitter to attempt to exploit the tragedy connecting the shooting to a reason why African-Americans will vote for him for president. Trump spelled Wade’s first name wrong in his initial tweet.
Nykea Aldridge, 32, had recently relocated to an area on the city’s South Side, her family said.
Police said Aldridge, 32, was pushing a baby stroller near a school where she intended to register her children when two males walked up and fired shots at a third man. Aldridge, who wasn’t the intended target, was struck in the head and arm. Police said the baby wasn’t hurt and that a relative has taken custody of the child.
The school is about a mile and a half southwest of the University of Chicago.
Police are questioning two men who they say are persons of interest, according to reports.
The Bulls later issued a statement, saying the organization was “deeply saddened” by the news of Aldridge’s death.
Wade signed a two-year deal worth approximately $47 million last month after spending the first 13 years of his NBA career with the Heat.