PATERSON, NJ - Just hours after Mayor Andre Sayegh once again bemoaned an “epidemic of gun violence” Tuesday, and promised to use the full resources of law enforcement agencies at the local, county, and state levels, an arrest was announced in a September 19 shooting that left two men injured.
According to Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Paterson Police Chief Ibrahim Baycora, Julio Vasquez Larosa, 34, has been charged with a series of crimes, including with five counts of Attempted Murder.
Sayegh’s latest efforts to bring the shootings to an end once again called on the community to provide their support to law enforcement, a plea that was echoed by City Council Vice President Dr. Lilisa Mimms who implored parents to help “identify problems” and notify the police.
“You being quiet today means your children could be the victims tomorrow,” she said. “Paterson needs to get to a place that’s better,” she continued, followed by 5th Ward Councilman Luis Velez who said that in addition to additional funding to increase the ranks and capabilities of local law enforcement Paterson needs to “breathe peace into our city.”
Winnie Harrison, a stalwart leader against gun violence, and speaking on behalf of Paterson Ceasefire, said that when it comes to shootings “there is no need for them to happen.” Her organization, continuing to partner with anyone that wants to see peace on the streets, will continue to uphold their commitment to “help save lives.”
Concluding that the efforts of the Paterson Police Department have led to the removal of 167 guns off the streets so far this year, Sayegh, quoting more sobering statistics reflecting 75 non-fatal shootings and 19 homicides, promised that “we will not rest until these offenders are brought to justice.”
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