The two brothers charged with killing the cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade appeared in court this week.
Police arrested 26-year-old Darwin Sorrells and 22-year-old Derren Sorrells, both documented gang members. They said the community played a big role in apprehending the duo.
Nykea Aldridge, 32, was shot to death last week as she pushed her newborn in a stroller in the Parkway Gardens neighborhood on the South Side. She had just registered one of her kids for school.
Surveillance cameras in the area captured the shooting as well as both men carrying guns prior to the gun fire.
Sunday night, family members of Aldridge came together to remember her at a vigil.
For Aldridge’s mother, this is the second child she has lost to gun violence.
“Just a life that’s gone too soon,” said Diann Aldridge, the victim’s mother. “I miss her. A life is gone.”
Derren Sorrells and Darwin Sorrells Jr., both of Chicago, were each charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. Both are documented gang members and on parole for previous gun charges, police said. Derren was released just two weeks ago and was wearing an electronic monitoring device.
“This tragedy isn’t just noteworthy because Miss Aldridge has a famous family member, it’s noteworthy because these two offenders are the prime example of the challenge we face here in Chicago with repeat gun offenders that don’t care who they shoot,” said Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.
Johnson said he hopes the arrests “bring some small amount of closure” for the family.
Police said the brothers were aiming for a ride-share driver. Instead, Aldridge was shot four times.
One of the brothers was arrested Friday shortly after the shooting. The other was picked up later in the evening. Both brothers were in bond court on Monday. Wade was not in Chicago on Friday, but joined an ESPN roundtable on Thursday about violence in Chicago. He tweeted about his cousin’s death Friday night:
“My cousin was killed today in Chicago. Another act of senseless gun violence. 4 kids lost their mom for NO REASON. Unreal. #EnoughIsEnough.”
Wade tweeted again on Saturday, saying, “RIP Nykea Aldridge… #EnoughIsEnough.”
The family has established a trust fund for Aldridge’s four children. Donation checks can be made payable to the Nykea Aldrige Children’s Fund and mailed to Seaway National Bank, Attn: Daryl Newell, Chief Retail Officer, 645 E. 87th St., Chicago, IL 60619.
With Aldrige’s alleged killers behind bars, comunity members in Chicago are looking to stop the carnage that could befall the “windy city” during the Labor Day weekend, particularly in the wake of a suggestion by a police union not to work any non-mandatory overtime.
This sets us up for a situation like in “The Purge” where all manner of lawlessness can take place, says Phillip Jackson, executive director of the Black Star Project, who noted that last weekend which was not a holiday, 72 people were shot including nine who were killed in Chicago.
In order to change the scenario, Jackson said the Black Star Project, the Chicago Justice Local Organizing Committe as well as 100 other local groups have launched an initiative called a “surge of peace in the community.”
“We connected with churches, community organizations, frats, sororities, street gangs and other organizations and reached out to them and asked them to do three things. During the day (and into the evening on Labor Day weekend be visible on the street. Walk up and down your block. Talk to your neighbors. Clean up your block, street, your alleys. Number two, work with young people in the community. Teach them, mentor them encourage them, especially the ones you are afraid of—the shooters, the ones selling drugs. But you have to approach them with love, respect and resources.”
Jackson said, they want to share job training information, how to get back in school, share job opportunities, family development opportunties as well as fatherhood programs.
Most of the violence happens in four or five neighborhoods, said Jackson but he adds there are not enough police nor enough jail space to solve the problems. Instead it is going to take looking at the situation and the historic causes for the violence and adressing those with resources.
When it comes to providing resources, Jackson says that contrary to popular belief the resources are there, especially when you consider that the police budget in Chicago last year was $1.3 billion plus $116 million for overtime. Additionally it cost $80,000 to $90,000 a year to lock up one single young Black male 17 and under.
He also noted that a University of Chicago crime lab report two years ago found a gunshot wound incident on average costs the city $1 million.
“So the money is there . . . it’s a matter of priority,” Jackson contends.
Chicago Crusader/ NNPA also contributed to this story.