It's Newark's crown jewel for entertainment, but the Prudential Center area is close to an unsolved homicide that happened within hours of another fatal shooting in the next town over.
It all happened Thursday evening, and the Newark murder took place just over a block away from the arena known as The Rock, when thousands of people were outside auditioning for a reality show.
A double shooting took place at 8:37 p.m. at the main intersection ofNew Jersey's largest city, the corner of Market and Broad Streets. It left a woman dead, and a man injured with a gunshot wound to the buttocks. He spent the night in surgery at UMDNJ Medical Center. Police have not identified either victim, and are looking for suspects in the case.
More than 10,000 people were at The Prudential Center in Newark Thursday, many of them were outside, waiting for or leaving from auditions for the reality musical TV show "The X Factor."
Newark detectives are also trying to see if there's a link between the downtown Newark shooting and another shooting a couple of miles away about 90 minutes earlier. In East Orange, just after 7:00 p.m., there was more gunfire. It killed Ishmael Wrenn, 24. Two people are now in police custody, but neither they are not releasing the suspects names, as the investigation continues.
One link that cannot be made is between the Newark shooting and "The X Factor" auditions, according to Newark Police. They say that the unidentified victims of the fatal shooting were not related to the event taking place at The Rock.
Friday morning, participants were back at the venue for a second round of auditions, unfazed by what had happened the night before a block and-a-half away. In fact, some of the hundreds of people in line outside of the Prudential Center Friday had not even heard that a shooting had taken place.
Aja Ryes was among those who had not known, but she told PIX 11 News, "I come from the Bronx. I don't feel any less safe. It's the same thing (as there). There's good or bad wherever you live."
Jersey City auditionee Frederick Jones had heard about the homicide, and said that he felt completely safe in front of The Prudential Center, but added, "Outside of this area, crime is rampant." He told PIX 11 News that he is originally from Newark, and cited two reasons for what he describes as a high crime rate. "Gangs are rampant, because we don't have the same police protedtion that we had."
Newark had to cut more than 12% of its police force last December due to budget constraints.