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Investigators searching for gunman and motive in shooting death of 18-year-old in East Orange, N.J.

Prosecutors looking for help to catch person who fatally shot 18-year-old in East Orange
Prosecutors looking for help to catch person who fatally shot 18-year-old in East Orange 01:45

EAST ORANGE, N.J. -- The Essex County Prosecutor's Office is asking for the public's help as it investigates the shooting of an 18-year-old.

The victim's family told CBS New York on Tuesday that he graduated high school just two weeks ago.

Neighbors on Ashland Avenue in East Orange feared the worst on Monday at around 7 p.m.

"I heard a loud boom," witness Tah Welch said.

Welch said he came outside to see black smoke billowing out of a Mercedes sedan.

"I thought the car was going to blow up," 10-year-old Asad Williams said after getting permission from his mother to talk to CBS New York.

The Essex County Prosecutor's Office said 18-year-old Nicholas Edwards was the driver who died from a gunshot wound. A source said he was shot while driving, which caused him to lose control.

Witnesses said his friends who were in another car jumped out to try to save him.

"They dragged him out, put him in a car, took him to hospital, and then when I found out who he was I'm like oh my God, Nicholas. I just did his hair for prom, so I was like devastated," hair stylist Rameena Barksdale said.

Witnesses said the car made a left turn onto Ashland Street here before striking several parked cars and eventually catching fire.

"Shocked ... shocked. He was a good kid," Welch said. "He just graduated from high school two weeks ago."

Barksdale shared a photo of Edwards in her salon, getting ready for prom.

"Very funny guy, like, he had me cracking up. They're both good kids. Him and his sister are really respectful kids," Barksdale said. "He was doing good. He told me he was going to William Paterson after he graduated."

The Essex County prosecutor said no arrests have been made and don't yet have a motive.

Anyone with information is asked to call 1-877-TIPS-4EC. All calls will be kept confidential.

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