Arrest made in killing of Paterson girl
PATERSON (AP) — Authorities on Wednesday announced an arrest in the deadly shooting of a 12-year-old girl who was hit by a stray bullet while riding a scooter in a Paterson neighborhood increasingly frustrated by gun violence.
Jhymiere Moore, 19, of Paterson, was charged with first-degree murder and weapons charges in the death of Genesis Rincon, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes said at a news conference, as the girl's parents looked on. It was not known if Moore has an attorney.
Moore was held on $2 million bail after he turned himself in late Tuesday as Rincon's parents and hundreds of others rallied the community for justice and to end the violence. The prosecutor credited the suspect's surrender to pressure from the community and an intensive police investigation.
Her parents did not speak during the news conference.
Police believe the suspect was aiming a handgun at someone else when the girl was struck in the head at about 8:40 p.m. Saturday as she rode home to a family gathering, acting Police Chief William Fraher said. Two other children who were with her were not injured.
She was kept on life support until Monday night so her organs could be donated.
Overall crime in the city is down, but there has been a dramatic increase in gun violence, Fraher said.
There were 40 nonfatal shootings in the city in 2010 compared with 53 nonfatal shootings in the city so far this year, Fraher said. He noted 125 police officers were laid off in 2011.
Mayor Joey Torres announced he'll be adding additional police officers with money from a grant and is considering a proposed curfew in high-crime areas.
The investigation is ongoing and officials called on the public to provide information about the killing.