Paterson set a record for homicides for the second-straight year with the shooting Thursday night of a woman in the 4th Ward, officials said.
The victim, 25-year-old Jasmin Wel, became the 28th person killed in the city this year. The shooting happened in the area of East 24th Street, but authorities released few details about the crime.
She was found with gunshot wounds at about 8:20 p.m. and taken to St. Joseph's University Medical Center where she was pronounced dead, the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office stated.
About 93% of this year’s homicides have happened in three of Paterson’s six wards, according to data compiled by Paterson Press. There have been 12 killings in the 4th Ward, 10 in the 1st Ward, four in the 5th Ward and two in the 6th Ward. None of the homicides happened in the 2nd or 3rd wards.
Prior to the 27 people who were killed last year, the highest number of homicides in Paterson had been 25 in 2014. State and city law enforcement officials do not have homicide data available from before 1990. Paterson has had 108 shootings so far this year, incidents in which 20 people were killed and 132 injured, according to Paterson Press statistic
Municipal officials have noted that Paterson is not alone as it endures record numbers of homicides and shootings. Cities across the country have had spikes in violence the past two years, an outbreak that many law enforcement experts attribute to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We are experiencing a volatile and violent time in our country, and in Paterson we are doing our best to protect residents both from a deadly virus and combat crime," Mayor Andre Sayegh said. "Sadly, a number of the murders were domestic in nature and involved children.
"In spite of this violent surge, we have seized over 200 guns, which is more than we confiscated last year and we have reduced the number of shootings as well. We will be hiring 25 police officers in two weeks and another 30 cadets will be entering our police academy next month. Public safety is always a top priority."
Thursday’s homicide happened despite the fact that there has been a recent lull in Paterson’s gun violence. During October and November, the total number of shootings in the city was nine, a sharp reduction compared to previous months. For example, in September there were 12 shootings, in June there were 14 and in May there were 17.
Check back for more on this developing story.
This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Paterson NJ homicide record set for second-straight year