The mother of Nykea Aldridge has one message for the men responsible for her daughter’s death: “I forgive [you].”
Just days after a shooting claimed the life of her 32-year-old daughter, Diann Aldridge is offering forgiveness to the shooters, albeit through grief, pain and tears.
“I truly, truly forgive them. From the bottom of my heart, I forgive them,” she told CNN reporter Rachel Crane. “And I just pray to God that they pray to God to ask for forgiveness for what they’ve done. They’ve taken a person’s life senselessly.”
Nykea Aldridge, the cousin of Chicago Bulls basketball star Dwyane Wade, was caught in the crossfire of a shootout on Chicago’s South Side on Friday. She was on her way to register her children for school when stray bullets struck her in the arm and head.
Aldridge was rushed to John Stroger Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
The Chicago Police Department has identified two brothers in the shooting: Darwin Sorrells Jr., 26, and Derren Sorrells, 22. According to WLS ABC News Chicago, Derren admitted to shooting Aldridge when he missed his intended target. Both men, who are described as being gang members, were charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder, reports ABC News.
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Following the shooting, Wade, who is a Chicago native, took to Twitter to express his frustrations about the escalated violence in the city.
"My cousin was killed today in Chicago. Another act of senseless gun violence. 4 kids lost their mom for NO REASON. Unreal. #EnoughIsEnough."
My cousin was killed today in Chicago. Another act of senseless gun violence. 4 kids lost their mom for NO REASON. Unreal. #EnoughIsEnough— DWade (@DwyaneWade) August 27, 2016
He later tweeted, "The city of Chicago is hurting. We need more help& more hands on deck. Not for me and my family but for the future of our world. The YOUTH!"
The city of Chicago is hurting. We need more help& more hands on deck. Not for me and my family but for the future of our world. The YOUTH!— DWade (@DwyaneWade) August 27, 2016
On Thursday, before the shooting, Wade and his mother, Pastor Jolinda Wade, appeared on a panel at the South Side YMCA to discuss gun violence in the city.
Pastor Wade, who was Aldridge's aunt, remained optimistic, holding her sister Diann’s hand as they spoke to CNN. "We're still going to try and help these people to transform their minds and give them a different direction,” Pastor Wade said.
"We're still going to help empower people like the one who senselessly shot my niece in the head."
Nykea Aldridge leaves behind four children — the youngest child just three weeks old.
When discussing the loss her grandchildren will now have to endure without a mother, Diann was brought to tears.
"It just hurts to hear kids saying they want their mom and their mom won't be in their lives anymore," she told CNN. "Only through spirit, only through pictures — that's the only way they will know their mom for the rest of their lives."