Christmas Nightmare: 2 NJ Teens Killed, 1 Critically Injured in Shooting

The owner of a stolen red Jeep Cherokee reportedly went looking for the thieves and shot at the group of teens. 

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Zainee Hailey

Hailey family photos    

After unwrapping gifts and celebrating Christmas, two teens died Wednesday in Newark, N.J., amid a hail of bullets intended for someone else, according to the Daily News, citing reports from police and neighbors.

Hours after Zainee Hailey, 13, opened her gifts, including a Kindle, a $100 gift card and a watch, she and a visitor, Kasson Morman, 15, were gunned down about 10 p.m., the report shows. Abdul Frazier, 14, was also critically wounded, with a bullet lodged in his spine, the News reports.

When the incident occurred, Zainee was emptying Christmas trash outside at the curb, while Kasson and Abdul sat on the porch, taking in the evening air. They were found lying in pools of blood outside the residential building in Newark after a ski-masked gunman stopped shooting and started running, the News reports. The gunman was still on the run as of late Thursday.

“I was just sitting here wondering, trying to put it all together,” Zainee’s heartbroken grandfather, Michael Peterson, told the News. “It’s like a dream.”

Neighbors said the gunman targeted the group of teens, suspecting that they had stolen a red Jeep Cherokee, the report shows. But neighbors said the victims were not involved in the incident.

With five slayings in the past 10 days, Newark, New Jersey’s largest city, has recorded more than 100 homicides for the first time since 2006, the News reports.

Read more at the Daily News.

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