Two Suspects in Bergen Street Shooting Arrested
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Officials discuss underlying causes of gun violence in wake of recent murders
City officials Wednesday announced the arrests of two suspects in a March 18 shooting and released additional information about another fatal shootout less than a week later, using the incidents as a pretext to discuss gun control laws, beefed up security at businesses and other measures to combat Newark’s high level of violence.
“We need to talk about illegal guns….We need to be loud and vociferous about the deaths of our young people,” said South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka, who lives “100 yards” from the shooting that occurred at Bergen and Renner streets, in which one man was killed.
Baraka, Mayor Cory Booker and Samuel DeMaio, director of the Newark Police Department, spoke at a press conference at department headquarters on Clinton Avenue, where officials announced that an adult and a juvenile had been arrested in connection with the shooting. DeMaio, stressing that the matter was still being investigated, declined to release additional information about the suspects.
Officials also repeated a plea for information leading to the capture of the man who on March 23 shot and killed a man and wounded two other people at an IHOP restaurant located on Bergen Street, about a mile from the bodega shooting. A reward has been offered for information in that incident.
Booker said the victim, 30-year-old Papa Khaly Ndiaye, had worked his way up from to manager of the restaurant where he was killed after trying to quell a dispute that broke out in the early morning hours.
“He was a good citizen and tried to move that fight outside and talk to the authorities. And what happened to him? He was shot in the head,” Booker said.
All the officials said illegal firearms were almost exclusively responsible for Newark’s gun crime. DeMaio said that in his experience, of the guns used in crime in the city, “none were purchased legally,” and were either stolen from legitimate owners or were purchased through straw buyers in states with much looser gun control laws than New Jersey’s, including Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Virginia. Booker urged support for measures such as background checks in those states to curb the illegal influx of guns into Newark.
The officials also railed against the use of assault-type weapons, which were virtually never seen in Newark until the federal assault weapons ban lapsed in 2004. DeMaio said those weapons, while still not commonly used in crimes within the city, are especially dangerous, because the shooters rarely have the training to use them properly and end up hurting or killing bystanders — or themselves.
“An assault weapons ban saves lives,” Booker said.
Also discussed were past efforts to create a municipal ordinance requiring businesses that remain open late to have some sort of armed security presence, an initiative favored by Baraka. While the legality of such an ordinance could prove tricky and has also upset some business owners concerned about the expense, Baraka and Booker said they will try to come up with a workable law.
Posted by Admin on Saturday, March 30th, 2013 @ 4:55AM
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