MAPLEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A northern New Jersey community is mourning the loss of an 11th grade student who was fatally shot on his way to a friend’s house.
Another student was also injured in the shooting, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported Monday.READ MORE: Group Of Women Accused Of Assaulting, Robbing Victim After Inviting Her To Party On Instagram
Investigators have been at the scene, the Underhill Sports Complex, since late Sunday night.
The 11th grader who died attended Columbia High School, and was a soccer star with an upbeat personality. That has this school community in disbelief.
Crime scene unit cars and police officers spent Monday investigating the death of 18-year-old Moussa Fofana, who was shot inside the Maplewood complex.
Just after 9:30 p.m., neighbors heard gunshots. Maplewood police found Fofana dead at the scene, and another student, also 18, shot in the leg.
“And then there were some people with flashlights walking the track,” resident Ellyn Sjoquist said.
Friends said Fofana and the other teen were cutting through the field to go to a friend’s house to watch a late-night boxing match.
Web Extra: GoFundMe For Fofana’s Family
When asked if he could imagine why anyone would want to harm Fofana, soccer teammate Joshua Billec said, “I can’t. Every single time when I was stressed out, he’d walk up to me and he would just sit with me and he would talk to me about it. He would just make my day 10 times better.”READ MORE: Robbery Suspect Accused Of Pushing Woman Using ATM In Queens, Withdrawing $1,000
“If you didn’t have money for lunch, he would pay for his lunch. He was a very sweet dude,” friend Joseph Fabiano added.
“He’s always either outside playing with a soccer ball. He’s not a bad kid. He normally stays to himself. He’s a really good person,” neighbor Janae Allen said.
Friends said Fofana aspired to be a professional soccer player, adding that after school he often looked after his younger brother to help his mom, who owns a business in town.
“Broke my heart, first time I heard it,” school crossing guard Wilbert Pitt said.
Neighbors told CBS2 off camera that recently there had been people gathering in the field doing drugs and drinking alcohol, but Sunday’s incident was the first time anyone heard of any violence.
“It’s more of like a family-friendly environment,” Allen said.
“The fact that this can happen here in Maplewood, you know, it’s worrisome,” 10th grader Scott Barton said.
No arrests have been made. The investigation is active and ongoing.MORE NEWS: NYPD Searching For Suspect Accused Of Pistol-Whipping Man In Coney Island
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force at 1-877-TIPS-4EC or 1-877-847-7432.