- The Washington Times - Friday, August 10, 2007

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A teenage boy and a man faced murder charges yesterday in the killings of three college students and the wounding of a fourth in a schoolyard.

The 15-year-old was arrested Wednesday night, and Jose Carranza, 31, surrendered yesterday, authorities said.

“We believe that others were involved in this heinous crime,” prosecutor Paula Dow said. “We’re looking for them.”

Mayor Cory A. Booker said fingerprint and ballistics evidence tied Mr. Carranza to the crime. He turned himself in on three counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder and other charges.

The teen, whose name was not released because of his age, was arrested on the same charges, authorities said.

Four friends, who ranged in age from 18 to 20, were shot while hanging out in a school yard Saturday night. Authorities said robbery appeared to be the motive.

Three of the victims — Terrance Aeriel, 18; Dashon Harvey, 20; and Iofemi Hightower, 20 — were forced to kneel against a wall and were shot at close range. The fourth, Natasha Aeriel, Mr. Aeriel’s 19-year-old sister, survived a wound to her head and is hospitalized.

Despite being under sedation for periods of time, Miss Aeriel has been providing authorities with information about the shootings, the mayor said.

The killings brought unwanted publicity to the city, which has struggled for years with violent crime. Residents and law-enforcement organizations have donated $150,000 to the victims’ families and into a reward fund.

“This is a defining moment for our city. The crime is not going to define Newark, but our response to it [will],” Mr. Booker said yesterday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

All four victims were planning to attend Delaware State University this fall. Instead, three were to be buried tomorrow in separate services.

Samantha Williams, a friend of the victims, said she was overwhelmed by news of an arrest.

“I can actually stop crying. I can sleep peacefully,” said Miss Williams, 18, of Orange, N.J.

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