The Essex County Prosecutor's Office leads the investigation into a violent broad daylight shooting that left a man dead on a street in Orange on Monday afternoon.
Students dismissed from Orange High School, Orange Middle School and Lincoln Avenue School observed an unusual crime scene in the vicinity of their schools where a severely injured man was lying on the ground bleeding from his head after a shooting incident.
It happened just before 3:50 p.m. in the vicinity of Central and Lincoln avenues.
Police said an unidentified gunman approached a 20-year-old Orange resident -a former high school student- then pumped bullets into his body while students walked home from school.
The victim, identified by witnesses as Mr. Siam Neblett, was bleeding in front of a nearby Orange firehouse.
Emergency responders rushed to the aid of Neblett and attempted CPR before EMS rushed him to University Hospital for treatment.
Doctors pronounced Neblett dead before 5:50 p.m.
Police closed off the area while Orange Superintendent Mr. Gerald Fitzhugh II, school administration, and police added an extra layer of security for precaution. At the same time, Detectives for the Essex County Prosecutor's Office made their way to the scene to lead the investigation.
Residents took to the Orange Real Talk Facebook page and expressed concerns about daily suspicious activities around the three schools and the firehouse.
"This afternoon around 3 p.m., a young male was shot in front of Orange's Central Ave Fire station, while students were being dismissed. The victim was struck in the head but was rushed to the hospital for further treatment.
This occurred between my home and business. I have young children in this area. I applaud those present for their swift response and for notifying our community. Please keep the families involved in your prayers and our children who may have witnessed this deadly attack", Quantavia Hilbert.
In another post, the social media group's moderator Ms. Karen Jefferies-Wells expressed the following:
"Clearly we are inviting this activity when you look around at how this particular area has been desolate for years and allowed to stay that way. It looks like the neighborhood is neglected and littered and actually invites and encourages derelicts and criminals to freely congregate out in the open right next to a number of our schools".
Besides a recent spike in shots-fired incidents in the town, open public records information has shown success in Orange Police efforts to drastically stop violent crimes in the city compared to 2019 and 2020.
In July, an Open Public Records Act requested from the Essex County Prosecutor's Office for homicide in Essex County indicated one deadly beating of a senior man in Orange. This occurred in the Seven Oaks section of the town. County officials believe that this homicide is domestic in nature.
Monday's fatal shooting of Neblett is under an active and ongoing investigation.
No arrests have been made.