Chief Investigative Reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

NJ Grad Shot to Death Had Gone to Buy Gun: Officials

Police say 18-year-old Isaac Rinas was killed in his car in Paterson, N.J., hours after graduation

By Jen Maxfield
|  Tuesday, Jul 2, 2013  |  Updated 8:58 PM EDT
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A New Jersey teen shot and killed hours after his high school graduation had gone to Paterson to buy a handgun, and the friend who accompanied him was actually setting him up to be robbed, prosecutors said. Jen Maxfield has the story.

NBC 4 New York

A New Jersey teen shot and killed hours after his high school graduation had gone to Paterson to buy a handgun, and the friend who accompanied him was actually setting him up to be robbed, prosecutors said. Jen Maxfield has the story.

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Student Shot, Killed Hours After Graduation: Police

Police say 18-year-old Isaac Rinas was killed in his car in Paterson, N.J., just hours after graduating from his high school. Checkey Beckford reports
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A New Jersey teen shot and killed hours after his high school graduation had gone to Paterson to buy a handgun, according to prosecutors. 

Isaac Rinas, 18, had gone with a friend, Casey Cole, to buy the gun on June 26, but Cole had set him up for a robbery that went wrong, prosecutors said at Cole's court appearance Tuesday. 

The teens, former classmates and friends on Facebook, went together in Rinas' father's car to Hamilton Avenue in Paterson to purchase the gun, hours after Rinas attended his graduation at Wayne Valley High School, prosecutors said. A third man, 24-year-old Bishma Cowan, was also in the car, part of the alleged conspiracy to rob Rinas.

Once they arrived in Paterson, Rinas handed over $350, then stepped out of his car, prosecutors said. Police believe that as part of the conspiracy among Cole, Cowan and another man, 27-year-old Quashon Faircloth, Rinas was held up while he waited to purchase the weapon. 

Surveillance video shows people around on the car on the night of June 26, moments after police say Faircloth shot and killed Rinas when he said he didn't have any more money. 

"We don't believe that was part of the plan," said Passaic County prosecutor Camelia Valdez. "The plan was to have him robbed. And in the course of that plan, he was shot." 

Cole, still playing the role of friend, stayed with Rinas after he was shot and called 911. Investigators don't know why Rinas wanted to buy a gun. 

Cole is charged with felony murder, robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. Faircloth is charged with murder, felony murder, robbery and weapons offenses. Cowan is charged with felony murder and robbery. 

Cole was ordered held on $2 million cash bail. 

Rinas was laid to rest in Wayne Tuesday. Friends said he was friendly and likable. 

"He was sweet, he would have helped anyone out if they needed," said one teenager. "He was great."

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