Woman Shot Dead in Revitalized Downtown Newark

Mayor Cory Booker blasts shooting in heart of city.

Friday, Apr 15, 2011  |  Updated 1:53 PM EDT
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A woman was shot dead in the heart of downtown Newark.

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Gunfire in the heart of New Jersey's largest city left a woman dead and a man wounded near where auditions for the new reality show "The X Factor" are taking place.

The shots were fired in the revitalized downtown section less than a block from the Prudential Center. That's where the TV auditions are taking place and where the NCAA East Regional basketball tournament was held last month.

The Star-Ledger of Newark reports officials said there was no connection to the shooting and the TV event.

"This strikes a blow to what this city stands for and all the progress we are making," Newark Mayor Cory Booker said at a late night press conference. "We are going to redouble our efforts to make sure it doesn’t happen."

The double shooting happened at about 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Police said Friday they believe it was an isolated narcotics-related incident and that the dead woman, identified as Arlene Fields, 42, of East Orange, was not the intended target.

Fields was shot in the back and the 31-year-old man from Newark, whose name has not been released, was shot in the buttocks. After he was shot, the male victim approached a cop for help, and the police officer called for help. Both victims were rushed to University Hospital, where the woman was pronounced dead. The man was listed in stable condition after undergoing surgery.

No arrests have been made. Cameras in the area are being reviewed by investigators.

The investigation is ongoing. Police ask anyone with information about the shootings to call the Department's 24-hour "Crime Stoppers" anonymous tip line at 877 NWK-TIPS (877 695-8477) or NWK-GUNS (877 695-4867).

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