NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Two people were fatally shot early Saturday morning at a social club in Newark and another two people were shot in a separate incident, officials said.
Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino said Francisco Sierra, 19, and Geraldo Criado, 28, were shot around 3:40 a.m. at El Nuevo Gurabo, a small social club in the city’s North Ward.
Both died at the University Hospital of New Jersey Medical School from their wounds. The Newark Police Department and Essex County Prosecutor’s Office are still investigating.
Later in the morning at 7:30, a 13-year-old and 21-year-old were shot in an area not far from the social club.
The two were treated for their non life-threatening injuries at the same hospital as the earlier shooting.
Laurino said the shootings don’t appear to be connected.
Club members and residents who live near the club said they were surprised that a violent incident happened at El Nuevo Gurabo, which has a largely Hispanic clientele. They described it as a small, quiet gathering place and said its owner is very involved in the community, noting that he sponsors several sports teams and activities for children.
Club member Hector Rodriguez told The Star-Ledger of Newark that El Nuevo Gurabo has a small paid membership, and they are allowed to bring guests. It was not clear Saturday afternoon if Sierra or Criado were members.
“We don’t think the people involved in this were regulars,” the Belleville resident told the newspaper. “Most of the people that come here are people we know.”
Rodriguez described his fellow club members as nice people who usually go to the club to enjoy good music and talk into the night.
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