NEWARK — The oldest son a Newark Imam was one of five people shot when a gunman opened fire on a car outside a city eatery this morning, police said.
Akbar Muhammad, whose father is Imam Abdul Akbar Muhammad of Masjid Imam Ali K. Muslim Mosque, was sitting in the driver's seat of a car on Springfield Avenue when he was shot and killed around 11:30 a.m., Police Director Samuel DeMaio said.
All five victims were inside the car, according to DeMaio, who said a female passenger in the car was also killed. He declined to identify her.
Three other people, including a local storeowner, were injured in the shooting, DeMaio said. The victims remain in stable condition at University Hospital in Newark, DeMaio said.
DeMaio said at least one of the victims was the target of the attack, but it was not immediately clear who the shooter was aiming for.
“It’s a terrible thing, especially if you have only one person in that vehicle who is the target, and you have such a disregard for life that four other people are injured," DeMaio said.
Attempts to reach Imam Muhammad were unsuccessful. Several of Muhammad's relatives were seen gathering near the crime scene, but they declined to speak when approached by a reporter.
Star-Ledger Staff Writer Seth Augenstein contributed to this report.
NEWARK — Two people were killed and three others were injured when gunfire erupted in Newark's Central Ward on Tuesday morning, prosecutors said.
The shooting took place at 408 Springfield Ave., near the intersection of Fairmount Avenue, sometime after 11:30 a.m., according to Katherine Carter, a spokeswoman for the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.
Carter could not identify the deceased or describe the condition of the victims. She did not say what led to the shooting or if police had arrested any suspects in connection with the attack.
At least three of the victims were sitting in a vehicle on Springfield Avenue when an assailant walked up and opened fire, killing the male driver of the car, according to two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation. The sources requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case.
Information about the other victims was not immediately available.
Central Ward Councilman Darrin Sharif said he was told by police that all five victims were seated in the same vehicle, and that a single gunman walked up and started shooting this morning. He also said the shooting was targeted.
“They didn’t go so far as to say it was a drug thing, I would imagine they have enough information, but it wasn’t random," said Sharif. "For residents who initially hear that five people were shot, that’s frightening and that’s unacceptable.”
An employee at a nearby gas station, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisals, said he heard eight gunshots around 11:30 a.m., then a pause, then five more bursts of gunfire. At least two people were taken away from the area on stretchers, the man said, and police have cordoned off the entire intersection.
Another passerby, who also asked not to be identified, said he heard as many as 15 gunshots when he was walking past the intersection this morning.
Several people who identified themselves as relatives of the deceased could be seen gathering and sobbing in the parking lot of a nearby Home Depot, but they declined to speak when approached by a reporter.
Newark Police Director Samuel DeMaio did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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