Two dead, five wounded in shoot­ing

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - Mid-Hud­son News Net­work con­trib­uted to this re­port.

A high school se­nior who made a last-minute de­ci­sion to go to a Hal­loween party was one of two women killed.

A high school se­nior who made a last-minute de­ci­sion to go to a nearby Hal­loween party was one of two women killed when a shoot­ing took place there early Sun­day, her mother said.

Omani Free, who was 18 years old, de­cided to go to the party at an apart­ment build­ing at 119 Broad­way, about five blocks from her home in New­burgh, when a friend be­came avail­able on Satur­day night and other­wise would have been due home around the time the gun­fire broke out, said her mother, Rhonda Valen­tine-Free.

The other woman who died in the shoot­ing was iden­ti­fied as 20-year-old Tabitha Cruz, also of the city of New­burgh. Five oth­ers, who were not iden­ti­fied, were struck by gun­fire and are ex­pected to re­cover, au­thor­i­ties said.

Po­lice in New­burgh said the shoot­ing took place just be­fore 1 a.m. Sun­day in­side the apart­ment build­ing. Au­thor­i­ties were look­ing for a sus­pect or sus­pects, who fled the scene.

Valen­tine-Free said she had left home for her own so­cial en­gage­ment and didn’t know her daugh­ter had de­cided to go to the party. She said she and her hus­band first got word that some­thing had hap­pened when a friend of their 15-year-old son who had been at the party called to say their daugh­ter had been shot. She said they went to a hos­pi­tal, where their daugh­ter died hours later.

“She was a sweet girl,” Valen­tine-Free said. “She was my cho­co­late baby.”

She said her daugh­ter had gone to a party in an­other sec­tion of the build­ing be­fore with­out in­ci­dent.

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion about the shoot­ings is asked to call New­burgh City Po­lice at (845) 5613131.

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