Arrests Made in Connection with Newark Shooting

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Police in Newark, N.J. have arrested two suspects — 28-year-old Jose Carranza and an unidentified 15-year-old — in connection with the execution-style killing of three college-bound teens over the weekend. Reporter Nancy Solomon discusses the latest details from the Newark case.


From NPR News, this is NEWS & NOTES. I'm Cheryl Corley. Farai Chideya is away.

Police in Newark, New Jersey, have arrested two suspects - 28-year-old Jose Carranza and an unidentified 15-year-old - in connection with the execution-style killing of three college-bound teens over the weekend. A fourth teen, who was seriously wounded in the attack but survived, is helping police with their investigation.

For an update on the story, we've got NPR's Nancy Solomon on the line.

Thanks for joining us again, Nancy.

NANCY SOLOMON: You're welcome.

CORLEY: Well, the adult charged in this murder case, Jose Carranza, appeared in court today. This was an arraignment, correct? So tell me how he pled.

SOLOMON: He's pleading not guilty to all the charges. And it's kind of an interesting story in that, so far, the information coming out about him is quite conflicting. He's originally from Peru. He apparently is undocumented -that's not conflicting - but family, friends, neighbors, all talk about how he is a good family man, he was a steady worker, he helps people in the neighborhood, yet he's got pending charges against him of molesting - sexually molesting a young girl and a brawl that happened in a bar. These were pending court cases. He was out on bail. So it's hard to get a feel for who this guy is.

CORLEY: What do we know about the 15-year-old? Anything more at all?

SOLOMON: Very little. They're being very tight with information about him, obviously, because he's a juvenile. He apparently lives with both parents and at least one or two siblings in an apartment. There's a large apartment tower complex that's just a block down from the elementary school where the shootings took place and, apparently, he lives in one of those apartment-block towers.

CORLEY: Mm-hmm. Have police learned anything more about a motive in this case?

SOLOMON: They're sticking with the robbery-gone-bad motive, which still, you know, marching three young kids up against the wall, making them kneel and shooting them in the back of the head, that, you know, doesn't sound like a robbery to me. But they're sticking with it. They insist that this was not gang-related.

CORLEY: And is it clear yet whether or not either of these suspects is cooperating with police?

SOLOMON: Yeah. There's been - I call them intimations or sort of, if you read between the lines, it sounds like the 15-year-old is providing information. The police say they have three other suspects that they're looking for, a combination of juveniles and adults, and that information has come from the 15-year-old that broke this wide open.

CORLEY: All right. Well, Nancy, thank you so much for joining us.

SOLOMON: You're welcome.

CORLEY: NPR's Nancy Solomon reporting from South Orange.

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