NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A reward of up to $10,000 was being offered Monday in a double shooting in Newark that left a Rutgers University student dead and his roommate critically injured.
As CBS2’s Raegan Medgie reported, the Rutgers Newark campus was in shock following the shooting, and many were asking why.
Yellow tape blocked off the entrance to an apartment near the Rutgers Newark campus on Central Avenue at Halsey Street Monday morning. The apartment is located above a college hangout.
“A very, you know, very nice guy; hard worker,” said Rutgers senior Harun Saleh.
Around 10 p.m. Sunday, emergency responders were called to the apartment where they found Shani Patel, 21, of Toms River with a gunshot wound, authorities said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
His roommate, who graduated from Rutgers last year, was also shot and is in critical condition, authorities said. The roommate’s identity has not been released, but authorities said he is undergoing surgery at University Hospital.
Hours later, police found a handgun a block away from the crime scene of Bleeker Street. Police would not say if the gun was connected to the shooting.
Many student and residents in the area were shaken up by what happened.
“I’m only one or two people linked away from him,” said Rutgers senior Nada Kittaneh. “So just seeing how everybody else is affected, and just seeing the proximity, definitely has an effect on me.”
“I’m just speechless,” said Rutgers junior Matthew Prado. “I really don’t know what to say about it.”
Students received an email about the incident Monday morning from Rutgers Chancellor Nancy Cantor.
“I write with the sad news that last night we lost one of our students,” Cantor wrote in the email. “There is an active, ongoing investigation by the Newark Police Department of a crime that took place at a private residence located off campus.”
“It makes it so much more real. It’s not just an email anymore,” Saleh said. “It’s like, a guy that I actually knew, a guy I have a good, you know, memory of him, and that we worked very hard on projects together that we did well on.”
“It’s a little bit disheartening, because it is, even though we don’t know him, it’s a classmate – you know what I mean? It’s somebody who was supposed to graduate this year,” said Rutgers junior Debby Donis-Veliz. “So I feel for all his friends and family.”
So far, no suspects have been identified and no arrests have been made.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force tips line at 1-877-847-7432.