Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray has announced that the Essex County Homicide Task Force is investigating unrelated shooting deaths in Newark and East Orange. On Tuesday night East Orange police were dispatched to the area of North Oraton Parkway and William Street at approximately 9:45 pm on reports of a person down. Responding officers found an unidentified male suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. The male was taken to University Hospital in Newark, where he was subsequently pronounced dead at approximately 10:50 pm.

In the second incident, Newark police responded to 175 Walnut Street shortly after midnight and discovered that a livery cab driver, Santiago Rodriguez, age 51 of Union, NJ, had been shot while in his cab on Walnut Street. At this time it appears that the victim was shot during a robbery. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

The incidents do not appear to be related.

Both matters remain under active investigation according to Chief Assistant Prosecutor Thomas S. Fennelly, director of the Homicide Unit. Authorities are asking anyone with information to contact the Essex County Homicide Task Force at 877-847-7432.