Two brothers who were on parole have been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Nykea Aldridge, a cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade. She was shot as she pushed her baby in a stroller on Chicago’s South Side, the Associated Press reported Sunday.
Police said the brothers, Darwin Sorrells Jr., 26, and Derren Sorrells, 22, also were charged with attempted murder in Friday’s shooting.
Aldridge, a 32-year-old mother of four, was walking near a school where she was planning to register her children when she was shot in the head and arm. At a news conference on Sunday, the AP reported, police Cmdr. Brendan Deenihan said the intended target was a driver who had just dropped off passengers in the neighborhood. Deenihan said that there is video of the incident but that no weapon has been recovered.
Darwin Sorrells was sentenced to six years in prison in January 2013 on a gun charge and was released early on parole. Derren Sorrells is a known gang member who is also on parole for motor vehicle theft and escape, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said, adding that he has six felony arrests on his record.
Wade, who grew up in the area, signed with the Chicago Bulls during this summer’s free agency period. Wade reacted to his cousin’s shooting on Twitter, writing on Friday:
The former Miami Heat star has been outspoken about gun violence, speaking Thursday on a panel with other athletes hosted by ESPN’s “The Undefeated.”
Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, was accused of using the tragedy to try to score political points. At a rally last week before an overwhelmingly white audience in Ohio, Trump painted a bleak picture of life in America for African Americans and Hispanics and said Democratic political leaders had taken minority voters for granted. He said he would “straighten out” such problems by creating jobs and getting rid of crime. “You’ll be able to walk down the street without getting shot. Right now, you walk down the street, you get shot,” he said. On Saturday morning, Trump sent out a tweet that suggested Aldridge’s shooting had proven his point and that “African Americans will VOTE TRUMP!” He later tweeted his condolences to her family.
Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who appeared Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” defended Trump’s tweets. “The point Donald Trump is making is that we have a choice to make this fall. You can go with the party that’s been responsible for the liberal policies that apparently have been content with unsafe streets in Barack Obama’s home town of Chicago, where 2,700 people have been shot this calendar year alone,” Pence said.
Pence sidestepped questions about the flow of guns into Illinois from his state. The AP quoted Chicago police as saying that a fifth of the guns used in Chicago crimes are from Indiana. When CNN anchor Jake Tapper pressed Pence on the matter, he said there was “tremendous gun control in Chicago.” When Tapper noted that police say many guns from Indiana make their way into the city, Pence replied: “In Indiana, we know what most Americans know, is that law — that firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens makes our communities more safe, not less safe.”
Chicago has been experiencing a major uptick in gun violence this year, largely centered on a few South and West Side neighborhoods, after years of declines. This July, there were 65 homicides — the most in that month since 2006, the AP reported.