PATERSON, N.J. (AP) — Authorities are looking for the person who shot and killed a suburban teenager, just hours after his high school graduation, during a trip to a high-crime neighborhood in the city of Paterson.
Police said Isaac Rinas, 18, and a friend drove to a blighted, dangerous neighborhood in Paterson after he had received his diploma Wednesday from Wayne Valley High School.
Police told The Record (http://bit.ly/16E1fa3 ) newspaper the teens parked and a man entered the vehicle, brandished a gun and demanded money from the friend.
Police said Rinas and the gunman got out of the car and the man fired one shot into Rinas' neck before fleeing.
Chief assistant prosecutor Michael DeMarco of the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office said investigators are not jumping to any conclusions about what Rinas and his friend were doing in the neighborhood.
But The Record reported the area where the shooting occurred is known by authorities as a haven for gang activity, drugs and gun violence.
The newspaper quoted a neighbor as saying that Rinas was supposed to attend a Project Graduation party sponsored by the school.
The event was started during the 1990s as part of a campaign to steer young people to controlled parties, without alcohol or drugs, after proms and graduation ceremonies.
The city of Paterson is about a 10-minute drive from Wayne, a community of 54,000.