A nephew of Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade was one of 13 men shot — two fatally — during a violent six-hour stretch in Chicago, another indication that violence is on the rise in the nation's third-largest city.
A spokesperson for Wade confirmed that his nephew was one of those injured in a Thursday shooting at a convenience store. The spokesperson declined to confirm the nephew's name or condition.
Wade, a Chicago native, was playing in a game at Toronto on Friday night.
Wade's nephew was one of six males shot at a store on Chicago's South Side at about 6 p.m. Thursday by hooded men who police said fled the scene in an SUV. One man was dead at the scene and four others — ranging in age from 16 to 24 — were hospitalized in critical condition. The Cook County medical examiner's office identified the slain man as Shawndell Harris, 22.
"I don't have all of the details at this time," Wade said in a written statement released early Friday evening. "My thoughts and prayers are with all involved, including my nephew and sister. Having grown up in the inner-city, I am aware of the difficult realities that exist on the streets. One of the goals of my foundation, the Wade's World Foundation, is to continue to spread the message that the violence needs to stop."
Wade was expected to have further comment in his postgame media availability.
The news of the shooting involving Wade's nephew comes one week after the eight-time NBA All-Star was among the Heat players who spoke out about the shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. A neighborhood watch volunteer fatally shot the 17-year-old, although no arrest has been made because the volunteer has claimed self-defense.
Of the Martin shooting, Wade said that, "as a father, this hits home."
In Chicago, there were three other shootings during Thursday's stretch of violence, police said.
— Shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday, David Gully, 31, was fatally shot in the head across the street from his South Side home, police said. Suspects have been questioned and several weapons have been recovered, police said.
— At about 10:30 p.m. Thursday, four people standing in a parking lot on Chicago's West Side were wounded when a gunman fired at them from a moving vehicle, police said.
— Two other men were wounded in separate shootings on the South Side — one in the leg and one in the buttocks.
The shootings are part of a larger uptick in violence across the city this year. From Jan. 1 to March 29 of this year, there were 474 shootings, 101 of them fatal, according to the Chicago Police Department. During the same time period last year, there were 346 shootings, 55 fatal.
Tio Hardiman, director of the anti-violence group CeaseFire, said he believes clashes are increasing because the city is dealing with violence as a crime problem and not as a public health epidemic.
"You cannot arrest your way out of this problem," Hardiman said. "You have to meet people where they are and change the way they think."