NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Four young women were hospitalized after a shooting in Newark on Saturday night.
Police said gunfire broke out near Bergen Street and Madison Avenue just after 9 p.m.
One victim, a 16-year-old, was shot in the head and is listed in critical condition at University Hospital. The other three were hit in the legs by bullets or fragments and are expected to be fine.
“The family needs all of the prayers that they can get,” Newark resident Keesha Eure told CBS2’s Dave Carlin on Sunday.
City officials later confirmed that the women — all between the ages of 16 and 20 — had gathered for a candlelight vigil near the scene of a deadly crash that killed two teens on Friday.
“The person who perpetrated that act on those four girls, that’s cowardice. That’s unacceptable,” community activist Lamont Vaughn said.
The vigil was for 17-year-old Quadre Robinson and 19-year-old Quayim Battle, who were killed after crashing a stolen car into a home at the same site of Saturday’s shooting.
“The shooting of four girls at a candlelight vigil was a cowardly act of hatred that pierced the hearts of all in our community,” Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said in a statement Sunday.
“Our prayers go out to the four victims and their families. This is a time for our city and our families to come together, not to turn our pain and anger inward, but to love our community harder and work to bring the shooter to justice,” the mayor added.
As they search for the person who shot the girls, police have not established a motive. So it’s unclear if anyone shot was an intended target, or if the gunfire is somehow connected to Friday’s fatal car crash.
Police said in the first incident the stolen car was speeding before it clipped a traffic light and crashed into a parked minivan, sending both vehicles into the side of an apartment building.
In his second-floor home was Najee Johnson, who ran to the window.
“I saw a big fireball on top of a car,” Johnson said.
He said he was at the vigil the next day, but only briefly and before the gunfire.
“It was a lot of kids,” Johnson said. “I got in the car. I left.”
Newark community activists said there will be a vigil Wednesday evening to take back the area after so much violence and tragedy.
“We come out as a supporting body, so to speak, to basically protect and shield those who do come out to mourn the loss of their loved ones,” Vaughn said.
“We’re going to reclaim our streets,” Eure added.
The Essex County Sheriff’s Office is also offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter.
Authorities are asking anyone with information about the shooting to call the Newark’s 24-hour Crime Stopper tip line at 1-877-NWK-TIPS (1-877-695-8477) or 1-877-NWK-GUNS (1-877-695-4867).
Stay with CBS New York for more on this developing story