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Boy, 15, charged with murdering 2 Newark teens on Christmas

NEWARK, N.J. - Authorities say a 15-year-old boy faces two counts of murder in the Christmas night shooting deaths of two teens in Newark, N.J., reports CBS New York.

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray announced the arrest Tuesday afternoon.

Murray said the juvenile, whose name was not disclosed because of his age, is also charged with the attempted murder of a third teen who was wounded in the shooting and weapons charges. He is being held in a youth detention facility, reports the station.

Zainey Hailey, 13, and Kasson Mormon, 15, were killed and a 14-year-old boy was seriously injured in the shooting which took place around 10 p.m. Dec. 25 outside a three-family home in Newark.

According to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the shooting occurred outside of Hailey’s home. Community activist Cassandra Dock told CBS New York after the shooting that Hailey was an innocent bystander.

“This is wrong. She’s 13. All she was doing was taking out the garbage. That’s wrong,” Dock said.

The killings brought the northern New Jersey city’s murder total for the year to 100 for the first time since 2006, according to CBS New York.

News of the arrest Tuesday came as family and friends gathered to bid a final farewell to Hailey, who was known as a quiet honor student and cheerleader.

Funeral services were held at the New Zion Baptist Church in Elizabeth, N.J., where Hailey sang in the choir.

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