On a gurney in a cold room in Newark, pathologists today removed bullet fragments from the skull of a 17-year-old boy shot dead yesterday in a Jersey City park.
Meanwhile, authorities were charging another teen with his murder. Charges against a second are expected.
Pashawn Holmes, 18, is being held on $1 million bail, charged in the killing of former Lincoln High School student Pedro Roman Jr., according to The Jersey Journal.
Holmes attended Lincoln, as well, but apparently has been living somewhere in Clifton.
The medical examiners will be prepared to answer technical questions to help authorities prosecute Holmes and an accomplice, who police said opened fire in broad daylight yesterday after school let out.
It’ll likely be little solace to the young mother who ran to the park when she heard the news and saw her only son’s body covered by a white sheet stained with his blood.
There will be stories. Excuses. Rationalizations. But no one will ever be able to say with certainty why it happened. Or why it continues to happen here and in other cities, where young toughs have been taught to always “come correct,” their life-erasers tucked into the waistbands of their low-slung pants.
Or where an 18-year-old and his accomplice got their guns.
Just a month ago, three other kids were shot in the same tiny park, although all three survived.
Roman wasn’t as fortunate after exchanging words with the two gunboys, who unleashed a cold response. Once again, a rat-tat-tat firecracker-type sound rang out in once-proud Greenville that neighbors knew weren’t firecrackers.
New Jersey’s larger cities — Newark, Camden, Trenton, and Paterson — have long had their violence. But the once-confined danger zones of Jersey City are spreading.
Increased police patrols help. However, they’re no substitute for the kind of focused effort state or federal authorities can bring by creating a task force dedicated to gang-busting.
Let’s hope this happens in the area of Greenville, a short walk from the Bayonne border, where this tragedy occurred.
I have loved ones who live right nearby.