Two dead, five wounded in shooting
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.