PATERSON, NJ - Authorities believe a late model, light-colored mini-van may have been the vehicle used in the drive-by shooting on Governor Street Tuesday night that left eight people were wounded.
Police have not yet iudentified a possible motive in the shooting, which targeted a group of people who were hanging around outside 186 Governor, near Carroll Street, said Sgt. Patrick Murray of Paterson's Cease Fire unit.
Police also say they have not yet determined whether one or more people fired shots from the vehicle nor whether the target was one person or the whole crowd. So far, Murray said, investigators have found no evidence to indicate that weapons other a handgun was used in the assault.
The incident, which raised the number of people wounded by gunfire in Paterson this year to 25, happened in a 4th Ward neighborhood ravaged by drugs and violence.
Seven of the victims were treated and released from area hospitals, while the eighth is in critical but stable condition at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, police said.
Police first learned of the incident when Officer Frank Rendina was patrolling in the area and was flagged dow by a passing motorist on Rosa Parks Boulevard who tolds him of the shooting, police said. At the scene, Rendina found one victim, a 25-year-old city resident, on the sidewalk with multiple gunshot wounds, Murray said.
Other officers arriving at the scene found several other victims in the area and some of the wounded drove themselves to St. Joseph's hospital in Wayne, police said. The victims range in age from 18 to 28. Four victims are men and four women. Six of them are Paterson residents, and two from Haledon. The two from Haledon drove themselves to St. Joseph's hospital in Wayne, while the rest were taken by city emergency workers to St. Jospeh's in Paterson.
The Paterson Cease Fire Unit is investigating the case. Authorities are asking anyone with information to call the unit at 973-321-1342.
Prior to Tuesday, Paterson had 15 non-fatal shootings that left 16 people wounded so far this year. The city also has had two fatal shootings that resulted in three deaths and two people wounded.