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Photos: Family Hold Vigil For Nykea Aldridge, 'Gone Too Soon'

By Stephen Gossett in News on Aug 29, 2016 3:11PM

Family and friends gathered in West Pullman to mourn the death of Nykea Aldridge, a 32-year-old woman who was fatally shot while walking with her baby Friday afternoon. Aldridge, who is a cousin of Chicago Bulls player Dwyane Wade, was apparently shot unintentionally by two men who were aiming for a third man when she walked by.

"This was my baby girl," mother Diann Aldridge told family, friends and reporters through tears. "Her life is gone too soon. Too soon."

"She was awesome," Aldridge added. "She will be greatly missed."

The vigil was held at the Willie Mae Morris Empowerment Center, at 12900 South Halsted St. Aldridge was a mother to four children, according to the Sun-Times: Summer, 12, Sincere, 10, Shavae, 8, and Da'Kota, an infant girl whom Aldridge was pushing in her stroller when she was shot in the 6300 block of South Calumet Ave. Da'Kota was not injured in the shooting.

Wade was not at the vigil, but his mother Jolinda Wade, pastor of the New Creation Church, spoke and led a prayer before releasing purple balloons into the sky to honor her memory. The family has set up a trust fund for Aldridge's children at the Seaway National Bank on East 87th Street, according to WGN. The New Creation Church is located at the Willie Mae Morris Empowerment Center, which Wade said was recently set up with the mission of steering disadvantaged youth away from crime and gun violence.

"She was a lady whom we called the fighter of the family," Jolinda Wade said. "So we're going to hold onto the memories. We've learned to thank God for the memories because we have had loss in the family," she added, noting that one of Nykea's sisters also died in gun violence.

Police charged two men with first degree murder in Aldridge's shooting case Sunday morning.