Latest Newark shooting leaves two wounded

December 24, 2010 1:56:39 PM PST
Two more people have been wounded in Newark, the latest in a string of shootings and violent incidents that have plagued the city in recent days.

Witnesses say a man and a woman, both in their mid-20s, were shot around 11:30 a.m. Friday near Clinton Place and Aldine Street in the city's South Ward. But further details on the incident and their injuries were not immediately available The shooting came one day after three people - including two teenagers - were killed and four others wounded in separate shootings that occurred about 90 minutes apart.

It's not yet known what sparked any of the shootings, and authorities say it's not clear if any or all of them were connected. No arrests have been made.

This week's shootings followed a violent weekend that saw seven carjackings and six shootings - including one that claimed the life of a 16-year-old boy, and came just days after a lieutenant in the state Attorney General's Office had his vehicle carjacked on a city street.

Many residents blame the recent violence on the city's decision to lay off 167 police officers on Nov. 30 due to budgetary reasons.

Overall, crime in Newark is up 7 percent from last year, according to statistics posted on the police department's website.

There have been 84 homicides in the city this year, four more than all of 2009.

In response to the recent violence, Newark Mayor Cory Booker said Friday that officials have "significantly increased the deployment" of police officers throughout the city. He also said Newark will "step up" its partnerships with several federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

Authorities have also formed a special task force, which is targeting robberies and carjackings. Its members include representatives from the Essex County Prosecutor's office, the U.S.

Attorney's office and the FBI.

"Newark will not accept anything less than strength, peace and security," Booker said. "The city and its multiagency team will keep fighting until we achieve this for our city and her residents."