Police Say Shooting Was 'Not A Random Act'; Victims Listed In Stable Condition

MONTCLAIR, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The search continues for a gunman who opened fire on four people walking down a street in Montclair early Tuesday morning.

It happened around 1 a.m. on Mission Street, police said.

A young woman and three young me were walking together when the suspect suddenly appeared and shot each person once, police said.

Naji Love, 18, was shot in the chest, Terrill Vaxter, 20, was shot in the arm, Timear Haley, 18, took a bullet in the buttocks, and an unidentified 17-year-old was wounded in the leg, police told CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang.

“I heard multiple gunshots. I would say six or seven rapid fire,” Pastor Bernard Rawls told Jiang.

“Gunshots. Close. Very close,” homeowner Bill Rose told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell.

When Rose looked outside, he said he saw two of the four victims.

“There was one gentleman laying underneath a car up the street there,” said Rose. “One was on the steps on the porch.”

Police said the suspect knew all four victims and believe it was a targeted shooting.

“Right now, it’s early in the investigation. A witness indicated there’s one shooter,” said Montclair Deputy Chief Todd Conforti. “It appears its not a random act right now, so I don’t want to say someone came here and randomly shot up the street.”

The victims told police they did not have a beef with anyone.

“They have no idea why they were targeted,” Montclair Lt. Angel Roman said.

All four were taken to University Hospital and were listed in stable condition.

One of the victims is from Newark. The others are from Montclair.

Rawls said two victims ended up sprawled out in front of his house and that he recognized them, Jiang reported.

“You hear this all the time, but they were good kids, very respectable,” Rawls said.

Police said in late May, they responded to a shooting on the same block. It’s unclear if the two are linked, but residents said they are convinced more violence is on the way.

“Now my fear is the retaliation. What is going to happen next?” Rawls said.

“It’s getting to a point where it’s getting out of control, and we as a neighborhood need to something about it,” another resident said.

According to police, two of the four victims, including the 18-year-old woman, were also shot at two weeks ago. They were not injured, police said.

In both cases, the attacker was wearing something to cover up his face, and both times he got away, police said.

Police did not say whether it was the same man, but describe the suspect as a black man, standing 6-foot with a slim build. He was wearing a white T-shirt and has dreadlocks, Jiang reported.

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