LINDEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police are looking for the gunman who shot and killed a revered teenager just blocks away from her home during an apparent robbery late Monday night, authorities said.
Amber Wilson, 18, was a popular student and cheerleader. She graduated from Linden High School 18 days ago. Officials said she was gunned down at 11:55 p.m. on Hussa Street while walking home with a friend from Dunkin’ Donuts.
1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg Speaks To The Victim’s Tearful Father
Tuesday night the neighborhood was united in grief after the bright young woman, who had aspirations of becoming a police officer, was killed.
“My daughter she was a very popular girl. She loved everybody and everybody loved her,” said Norman Duncan, the victim’s father.
That was evident by hundreds, including Linden’s Mayor, who gathered to honor her at a candlelight vigil. Wilson’s stepmother, overwhelmed by her loss, expressed gratitude for the community’s support.
“I appreciate everybody that’s here for her. Because she was there for everybody. I’m gonna miss her. She was an angel,” said Keena Butts.
Witnesses said they heard Wilson arguing with a man before shots rang out.
“I heard the girl screaming that he had a gun and the next thing I heard was a shot,” one witness told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg.
Wilson was shot once in the head, authorities said.
With tears in his eyes, Norman Duncan, said he has been calling his daughter’s voice mail over and over again just to hear her voice.
“She says ‘It’s Amber, call me back OK?’,” he told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg while fighting back tears.
Duncan also told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan that when he goes into his daughter’s room, he has to come to the realization that his little girl is gone forever.
“It was a cowardly act. How could you shoot my baby?” Duncan asked.
It is also a double tragedy for Duncan. Wilson’s mother died six years ago this month.
Family friend Scott Kraft showed CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang the chilling text message he received from Wilson’s stepmother just hours after he had seen the both of them.
“What happened to my daughter? She’s dead by your house. Please call me. Miss Adams,” the text message read.
Meanwhile, friends gathered outside Wilson’s home to grieve the loss of a promising and smart young woman who was active in the community.
“People talk about that smile because that’s what we knew about her. She had a wonderful smile,” one friend said.
“It’s just so sad that somebody was so heartless,” another friend said. “She did nothing to nobody. She was the sweetest girl ever.”
The suspect is still at large.
Investigators examined and collected evidence and gathered statements from neighbors near the shooting and in the area, Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow said.
Anyone with information regarding the shooting may anonymously phone in tips to Union County Crime Stoppers at (908) 654-TIPS. You can also log on to their website, or text UCTIP with your message to 274637. There’s a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and indictment of the suspect or suspects who shot Wilson.