Unfortunately, the lives of two more young people have been claimed by senseless acts of violence. After opening her stacks of Christmas presents, 13-year-old Zainee Hailey of Newark, New Jersey carried her family’s holiday trash out to the curb on Schley Street with her seven-year-old brother in tow, when she was shot down by an unidentified gunman,” The New York Daily News reports.
Police say that Zainee was not the intended target. A visitor of the three-family Schley Street home, 15-year-old Kasson Morman, was also struck and killed when the gunman opened fire.
“I was just sitting here wondering, trying to put it all together,”said Zainee’s devastated grandfather, Michael Peterson. “It’s like a dream.”
“They’re only babies. They didn’t even live to see 20. Oh my god,” one neighbor told CBS New York.
Another 14-year-old victim, whose name has been disclosed, was also shot and remains in critical condition with a bullet lodged in his spine. One neighbor, Junior Clark, told reporters that he actually saw the gunman, who is said to have worn a ski mask and to have taken off running shortly after the killings. Though cops say that they see no visible motive for the senseless shootings, neighbors say that it’s a case of retaliation, adding that the gunman was actually targeting a group of teens suspected of stealing a red Jeep Cherokee. The victims of this crime, however, were not the intended targets.
We send our prayers to the families impacted by this heartbreaking tragedy.