PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police in Paterson, New Jersey, are looking for whoever shot and killed a food delivery driver over the weekend.
Officials say it’s part of a recent uptick in violent crime there, CBSN New York’s Tara Jakeway reports.
Kanahai Gabbidon’s mother, Petra Rhoden, was working as a driver for the food delivery service DoorDash on Friday night when police say she was gunned down in the street.
“My mom was a sweet, loving person. She cared about her family and making sure we was alright. She would do whatever for us,” Gabbidon said. “I don’t know what happened, but I would like to know what happened. I want justice for my mother.”
Police responded to reports of gunfire at the corner of Harrison Street and Rosa Parks Boulevard in Paterson just after 10 p.m. That’s where they found 43-year-old Rhoden, slumped behind the wheel of her car with a gunshot wound. She was taken to the hospital where she died from her injuries.
“I don’t see why anybody would want to do this. It’s been hard for all of us,” Gabbidon said.
It was a hard weekend for another family in Paterson after tragedy struck again on Sunday.
“What I can confirm is a young person at 13 lost their life yesterday,” Paterson City Councilman Michael Jackson said.
That teenager was found unresponsive only a block away from where Rhoden was shot. Jackson says it’s all a part of the uptick in violence his city has seen in recent weeks. He was at Paterson City Hall on Monday for a special meeting called to come up with a plan to combat that trend.
“I just got up and left the meeting. Nothing there was being talked about that was pertinent to changing any of the conditions in this community,” Jackson said.
Jackson left halfway through the meeting, fed up, just as Gabbidon showed up. It was the first time she had left her house since the tragedy Friday with one directive.
“We came to the mayor’s office and we demanded justice. We want something to be done,” she said.
After the meeting, Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh offered his condolences and a plan of action.
“I’ve authorized another special operation group, which is simply we saturate the streets in the crime-ridden areas, areas that are the most troubled,” he said.
A tactic he says has worked for Paterson before.
Sayegh also took to social media.
He posted a video on Facebook asking his fellow Patersonians to speak up if they saw anything this weekend that may help the investigations.