Suspect arrested in shooting of teenage girl in Kearny home

January 20, 2013 1:35:27 PM PST
Police have arrested a suspect in the deadly shooting of a teenage girl who was shot inside her home in Kearny.

41-year old Cruz Martinez, Jr. of Hazelton Pennsylvania has been charged with the murder of 16-year old Alisha Colon.

She was found dead inside her home on Belgrove Drive in Kearny around 7 p.m. Thursday with an apparent gunshot wound to the head.

Earlier that same same day, Kearny police had been called to the area on a report of a street fight involving some of the victim's relatives.

Prosecutors say the girl was not involved in that dispute.

A neighbor said there had been a fight on the block earlier in the day, and that three people then came back and shot the young girl.

Homicide detectives are still investigating any possible connection between the earlier street fight and the murder.

Colon was home babysitting her younger brother when the shooting happened.

According to friends, she just turned 16 last month and was a student at at Kearny High School. Many students wore black to school in her memory.

Crisis counselors were at the high school to greet the students, many of whom spend the overnight hours grieving on social media.

Police say 37-year-old Edwin Mendez, Jr., of Belleville, was arrested as part of the investigation into the fight. He was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and making terroristic threats, but he has not been linked to the murder.

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