Young father gunned down in Newark

19-year-old victim was a father of four
February 27, 2008 3:58:17 PM PST
After 43 days without a homicide, Newark is investigating a murder.Eyewitness News reporter Jamie Roth has the latest.

This murder sent the city reeling, as well as the victim's his family. Andre Thomas was just 19 years old and a father of four. He was only on his way to the neighborhood market when he was shot to death.

Thomas' family members broke down in tears when they saw his body. Thomas attended Essex County Community College and was looking for a better future for his family.

Family members say he was going to the store, located at 833 South 14th Street just before 9 p.m., to buy juice. That's when an unidentified gunman drove up and shot him in the head, leaving him dead at the bottom of the stoop.

This is the first murder in Newark in 43 days. Prior to this the city's longest stretch without a killing was 57 days -- and that was back in 1961. Newark police and Mayor Cory Booker say their anti-violence campaign is working.

Raids by city and state agencies have put many of Newark's most violent defenders behind bars. Street surveillance cameras are also helping to reduce street crime -- all that doesn't matter though. Thomas leaves behind a girlfriend and four children.

There are no arrests and no suspects at this point. And police continue to look for a motive in behind the fatal shooting.