Seven people were shot, three of them fatally, in an explosion of violence in Newark on Thursday evening.
The bloodshed was part of a spate of violence that has gripped the city since it laid off 163 police officers late last month. A series of shootings and violent carjackings - including the carjacking of a state official - has raised concerns across the city.
The latest eruption began around 4:30 p.m. in the city’s South Ward. A gunman approached a group of five young men who had congregated by a bail bonds office near the corner of Avon Avenue and South 12th Street and opened fire, then fled, the authorities said. Two of them, both 16, were taken to University Hospital and pronounced dead. The others were treated there for injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening.
The dead were identified as Allen Best and Jarid Smith, both of whom lived in Newark, said Thomas F. Fennelly, chief assistant prosecutor in the Essex County prosecutor’s office and the director of the homicide unit. Investigators said it was unclear what prompted the gunman to open fire.
Ninety minutes later, as the police were still combing the scene, a second, apparently unrelated shooting occurred a few blocks away, at Court and Broome Streets in the city’s Central Ward neighborhood, Mr. Fennelly said. In that case a gunman walked up to two men sitting in a car and started shooting, killing one of them, Rodney Shacor, 30, of Newark, officials said. The other man was taken to University Hospital with what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries, the authorities said.
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