Teen shot dead in broad daylight near East Orange, NJ schools
EAST ORANGE — A 16-year-old basketball player died after being shot multiple times Monday afternoon near three schools.
Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II said the boy was shot on Lincoln Avenue around 3:15 p.m. and taken to University Hospital in Newark. He was pronounced dead at 3:45 p.m.
No arrests have been made. Officials said investigators are looking for a group walking in front of a vehicle around the time of the shooting but did not disclose how many shots were fired.
Officials identified the victim as Letrell Duncan, a sophomore at East Orange Campus High School.
"One of our most celebrated and loved players to help build this program. He was an excellent teammate, a great friend, and a coach’s ideal player," the youth basketball league Garden State Bounce wrote on their Instagram page. "We will miss you Trell, our floor general, team captain, and the best point guard our program has seen. You’ve set the bar. We are heart broken and in shock that this has happened to you, but nevertheless we know that you are comforted by God."
Classes had just been dismissed for the day when the shots were fired. Video aired by CBS New York shows kids standing around on the sidewalk and then running after shots were fired.
CBS New York cited police sources saying that the boy was shot four times in the head.
Superintendent AbdulSaleem Hasan, in a letter to parents, said counselors would be available for students and adults in the district Tuesday.
"There has been a growing concern about the spread of violence, not only in our community, but also across the nation. Violence creates trauma for the people directly involved as well as for those in surrounding neighborhoods and communities," Hasan wrote in the letter.
East Orange Mayor Ted Green in a statement said he was shaken by the shooting and called upon the community to "prioritize and protect our young people."
“We need our children to feel safe traveling throughout our city. Anything else is unacceptable. I’ve been tough on crime since day one and I will remain that way — investing in more police officers and getting illegal guns off the street. But we also are investing in positive opportunities for our young people to mitigate the systemic pressures and disparities that put our youth at risk," the mayor wrote.
Stephens asked anyone with information about the shooting to contact the Prosecutor’s Office tips line at 1-877-TIPS-4EC (1-877-847-7432).