On what should have been a festive Christmas evening, two families are grieving after three Newark, N.J. teens were shot in front of a teenage girl's home. Two of the teens died from their wounds, while another in the group was critically wounded.
The New York Daily News reported on the shooting deaths of Zainee Hailey, 13, and visiting friend 15-year-old Kasson Morman. A third 14-year-old was also shot, and is reported to be in critical condition with a bullet lodged in his spine.
Just hours earlier, Hailey opened up her gifts alongside her 7-year-old brother at their grandfather's home, and received a series of items that lit up her day according to the family. After taking trash from her family's home to the curb hours later, the unknown gunman opened fire on Hailey inside the foyer of their apartment building.
Morman and 14-year-old Abdul “Scooter” Frazier were shot on the porch of the building, and it appears the ski-masked gunman shot the group in a case of mistaken identity. Neighbors say the gunman was on the hunt for a group of teens who stole a truck with the keys still in the ignition. The same neighbors say the teens were not involved in the theft. The truck was recovered nearby some time after the shooting by police.
Sheheedah Frazier, who was the godmother of Morman, says her son and his friend were just hanging out on the porch at the time of the shooting.
“It's such a tragedy, and it just needs to stop,” said Frazier. “There's so much going on in Newark, and the violence just needs to stop.”
Check out the following pages to see photos of the victims, along with the crime scene investigation in Newark on the following pages.
Photos: New York Daily News, Star Ledger