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Officials: 7 Homicides In Jersey City In Last 5 Weeks

Kareem Porter, 21, Was Shot Dead Early Tuesday
Photo Of Crime Scene Tape (John Li/Getty Images)

Photo Of Crime Scene Tape (John Li/Getty Images)

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JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Jersey City man was shot and killed on a city street Tuesday, making him the seventh person killed in the city in the past five weeks.

Officers responding to reports of shots fired found Kareem Porter, 21, around 3:40 a.m. Tuesday. He died a short time later at a hospital.

Authorities told The Jersey Journal that Porter had “several apparent gunshot wounds” to his upper body and extremities. But it was not known Tuesday what sparked the shooting or how many assailants may have been involved.

Porter’s slaying was the 13th homicide in Jersey City this year, matching last year’s total.

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said over the weekend that crime had spiked in July.

“July has been a difficult month for us with escalated gang activity,” Fulop said. “We’ve been monitoring certain hotspots throughout the city, and, you know, we’ve escalated our visibility; our presence. We’ve gone out and we’ve pursued some of the people who have caused issues there, ranging from drug charges to possession to distribution.”

Terrified residents say street corners are overrun by drug dealers and violent gangs.

“You’re seeing little kids with guns,” resident Jose Hernandez said. “What’s going on here? Is it the parents? Who is selling these guns to these kids?”

“My son’s life is at stake,” resident Raymond Edward said. “I have a son that’s 17 years old, I pray to God everyday and when he comes home I thank God because it’s that crazy out here.”

The city has seen several homicides and escalated gun violence this month, and more drug activity over the past couple of years, Fulop said. But a new class of police officers and new Public Safety Director James Shea should help curb that trend, Fulop told WCBS 880.

“We have a new class that we’re going to be hiring in the police department, so additional officers, increased visibility,” he said. “We’ve reshuffled organization. We’ve done a national search for a new public safety director; we just hired him last week – a senior member of the New York Police Department; ran the units responsible for gang activities in youth like this.”

This past weekend, Jersey City police, in conjunction with the Hudson County prosecutor’s office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, arrested 35 people on an assortment of charges.

Police say they seized two handguns, a replica Uzi, a crossbow handgun, 14 knives, 19 pairs of handcuffs, a blackjack, 15 bags of marijuana and two bags of cocaine.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)