PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — It was a violent night in Paterson, where seven people were shot in one incident, leaving a neighborhood in fear.
Flowers mark the spot where four people were shot to death and three others were injured in what residents said sounded like a barrage of bullets at around 11 p.m. Tuesday night near Harrison and Carroll Streets.
Officers were already in the area and heard the gunfire, and rushed to the scene to find seven men with gunshot wounds.
“It’s bad. People going around killing people like that. It ain’t right,” said Paterson resident Clyde Leary. “My grandson went to school with two of them. They played football together.”
Responding authorities rushed the seven victims to Saint Joseph’s Regional Medical Center. One victim was treated and released, and a 20-year-old and 19-year-old were hospitalized in stable condition.
Four others died. They have been identified as Al Malik Williams, 37, Otis Smith, 37, Unique Jones, 22, and Nygier Barrett, 25. They were all from Paterson.
Police spent the night investigating, and several vehicles were also struck by bullets.
Paterson resident Carlene Clyburn says during the peak of the pandemic her neighborhood was quiet, but not anymore.
“All of a sudden there’s a big surge, and it’s not one person getting shot, it’s two and three people getting shot. And it’s almost every other day. It’s ridiculous and it’s scary,” she said.
CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge asked for an interview with Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh, who only issued a written statement:
Clearly, the severity of this incident speaks to larger problems than urban violence that need to be addressed in the immediate future. However, I want to be clear that we will have zero tolerance for violence in our city. Both prevention of loss of life and public safety are paramount to my agenda and I will personally engage in the process to curb these types of heinous incidents, which steal our young residents and instill fear in the community at large.
Currently, I’m working with my administration and community leaders to put the young people who are engaging in this dangerous behavior in a room and explain the gravity of their actions, just as we’ll ensure that they understand the seriousness of our commitment to stopping further attacks.
This must end today.
So three men are hospitalized, four others are dead, and so far not one local official — not the mayor, council members, the police chief or the prosecutor — will go on camera and comment or give details about what happened.
The prosecutor’s office said a motive is not known, no arrests have been made, and so far there is no suspect description.
Authorities ask anyone with any information to submit a tip at 1-877-370-PCPO, 1-973-321-1120, or email email@example.com.