Police name suspect in Halloween party shooting deaths

AP News
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Posted: Oct 31, 2016 9:33 PM
Police name suspect in Halloween party shooting deaths

NEWBURGH, N.Y. (AP) — Police have named a suspect they're seeking in connection with a Halloween party shooting that left two women dead and five other people wounded.

The Newburgh Police Department said Monday that 17-year-old Nija Johnson is wanted on a murder charge.

Earlier, 21-year-old Rainier Hamilton and 20-year-old Tyson Oliveira were charged with tampering with physical evidence. Hamilton also was charged with criminal possession of a weapon. They were arrested Sunday hours after an early morning shooting at a costume party held in an apartment building.

Eighteen-year-old Omani Free and 20-year-old Tabitha Cruz were killed. The wounded people are expected to recover.

Hamilton and Oliveira were arraigned and ordered held on $50,000 bail each. Their lawyers couldn't reached for comment by telephone.

A makeshift memorial sprouted up outside the apartment building, and friends and relatives of the victims gathered for a march and rally calling for an end to violence.

"Loving, caring, very sweet, always full of life," Free's mother, Rhonda Valentine-Free, told ABC-TV. "It's sad. They just took them. They just took them away."