A 15-year-old is fatally shot in Newark, New Jersey, after a motorcycle blessing event on Mother's Day
Three others were transported to area hospitals
Police are still investigating the incident; no arrests have been made
It was supposed to be a day of “love and respect for the community.”
Instead, a Newark teenager was fatally shot and three others were injured after a motorcycle festival held on Mother’s Day celebrating the beginning of riding season.
Al-Shakeen Woodson, 15, was among the festival attendees on Sunday evening. Woodson was hit after shots rang out at around 7:45 p.m. and later died at University Hospital. Three other adult males were transported to hospitals with injuries that weren’t life-threatening, according to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.
Police are still looking for those responsible for the shooting. No arrests have been made, and the investigation is still active, Essex County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Fennelly told CNN.
One eyewitness told CNN affiliate News 12 New Jersey that she saw a man on a quad bike open fire.
“The guy was in the middle of the street, on a four-wheeler quad, he did circles in the middle of the street to make smoke and that’s when he let off fire,” said Keona Campbell.
The Newark Knights Motorcycle Club, which runs the annual motorcycle festival, could not be reached for comment. The group calls itself “the foremost organization of bikers in the city of Newark.”
Their Mother’s Day Bike Blessing event is their biggest of the year, according to a post on the group’s Facebook page.
“We humbly invite all to come out and share the day with the Newark Knights as we show love and respect for the community and get our bikes blessed. Come help us celebrate a safe, peaceful and enjoyable Mother’s Day!!” the post reads.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka’s office estimates more than 1,000 people attended.
Baraka said he was “saddened and appalled by the shooting incident” and that law enforcement was moving “swiftly to bring the perpetrators of this ghastly act to justice, and hold them fully accountable for this horror.”
Baraka also cautioned social media users to “consider the images that they are sharing from incident” after an image of what appeared to be Woodson, face down on the ground, appeared online.
Baraka’s office is reviewing the permitting process on the event so that a higher level of security could be ensured at public gatherings.
“Newark is transforming itself into a city we can all believe in, and we will not let the misguided individuals who caused this tragedy to stop our work,” Baraka said.