ABOVE PHOTO: Dwyane Wade (lev radin / Shutterstock.com)
CHICAGO — Two brothers who were on parole for prior criminal activity have been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of the cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade, Chicago police announced Sunday.
Darwin Sorrells Jr., 26, and Derren Sorrells, 22, also were charged with attempted murder in Friday’s shooting. They appeared in court Sunday and were ordered held without bail.
Nykea Aldridge, a 32-year-old mother of four, was pushing her baby in a stroller near a school where she’d planned to register her children when she was shot in the head and arm. She wasn’t the intended target, Cmdr. Brendan Deenihan said at a news conference Sunday, but rather a driver who had just dropped off passengers in the neighborhood.
There is video of the incident, Deenihan said, but no weapon was recovered and police don’t know where the weapon is.
Chicago has been in the throes of a major uptick in gun violence this year, largely centered in a few South and West Side neighborhoods, after years of seeing declines. This July alone, there were 65 homicides – the most for that month since 2006.
Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the suspects are an example of the city’s problem with repeat offenders, which he has spoken about frequently in recent months. 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 he has six felony arrests on his record.
“They don’t care who they shoot and they don’t fear the consequences,” Johnson said, noting as he has in the past that about 1,400 people are driving 85 percent of the city’s gun violence. He added that the city has gotten very good at predicting who will be the perpetrators and the victims of gun violence.
Dozens of people gathered at a Chicago church Sunday for a prayer service to remember Aldridge. Her parents, sister, nieces and nephews wept as they spoke about the woman they said was a gifted writer and “fighter of the family.”
Wade, whose charitable organization, Wade’s World Foundation, does community outreach in the Chicago area, signed with the Chicago Bulls in July after 13 years with the Miami Heat. He and his mother, Pastor Jolinda Wade, participated Thursday, August 25th via satellite in a town hall meeting in Chicago on gun violence hosted by ESPN.
Wade has reacted to his cousin’s shooting only online, tweeting Friday, August 26th: “My cousin was killed today in Chicago. Another act of senseless gun violence. 4 kids lost their mom for NO REASON. Unreal. #EnoughIsEnough.”
Wade also tweeted Saturday morning: “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!” adding in a following tweet, “These young kids are screaming for help!!! #EnoughIsEnough.”
It is not the first time Dwyane Wade’s family in Chicago has been affected by gun violence. His nephew, Darin Johnson, was shot twice in the leg in 2012 but recovered.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence sidestepped questions Sunday morning on CNN’s “State of the Union” about the flow of guns into Illinois from his state. Chicago police have said a fifth of the guns used in Chicago crimes are from Indiana. When asked about it, the Republican vice presidential candidate instead brought up failing schools in Chicago and his running mate Donald Trump’s pledge to create jobs.