Donald Andrews of East Orange had just entered a liquor store when he was stabbed by an unknown male assailant just before midnight Saturday, said Katherine Carter, a spokeswoman for the Essex County Prosecutor's Office. The 40-year-old Andrews died a short time later at University Hospital in Newark, and Carter said Sunday that a motive for the attack wasn't known.
The death was the first homicide this year in Newark, which historically is one of the state's deadliest cities. Newark had 85 homicides last year and 80 in 2009.
Meanwhile, two men were shot on Halstead Street around 12:25 a.m. Sunday. That came several hours after three people were wounded in the city's West Ward.
All five shooting victims were taken to University Hospital, and officials said none of their wounds were considered life-threatening.
No arrests have been made in any of the incidents, and a motive for either shooting was not immediately known.
In the Halstead Street incident, one man was shot in the arm and the other was struck in the chest, said Det. Hubert Henderson, a police spokesman.
On Saturday afternoon, officers had found three people wounded when they responded to South 11th Street in the city's West Ward after an acoustic gunshot detection system reported shots fired around 5 p.m. Upon arrival, they found each victim had been shot at least once, with one hit in the arm, another in the hand and the third in the back.
The incidents are the latest in a series of violent crimes that have plagued New Jersey's largest city in recent weeks. Many residents blame the rash of shootings, carjackings and other incidents on the city's decision to lay off 167 police officers in November due to budgetary reasons.
In response, Newark officials have significantly increased the deployment of police officers throughout the city and stepped 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.