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A 12-year-old New Jersey girl who was hit in the head by a stray bullet as she rode a scooter on the street will be taken off life support Monday night and her organs will be donated, her family says. Checkey Beckford reports.
A 12-year-old New Jersey girl who was hit in the head by a stray bullet as she rode a scooter on the street was taken off life support Monday night, and her organs are being donated, a family spokeswoman said.
Genesis Rincon was declared brain-dead after the shooting on Rosa Parks Boulevard in Paterson Saturday night. Devastated family members said their goodbyes at St. Joseph's Hospital Monday before life support was removed.
"She always hugged and kissed me whenever I saw her," sobbed the girl's aunt, Vivian.
"I don't think poor kids deserve to die like this," cousin Wendy Rodriguez said.
Police believe the shooter was aiming at someone else when they hit Rincon. No arrests have been made, and detectives are looking into a possible connection to another shooting Saturday that injured a 26-year-old man.
At a march and vigil for the girl Monday night, the Rev. Della Fischer, the family's spokeswoman, asked for people to talk to police if they had information on the shootings. She also called on local and state lawmakers to send extra help to the city.
"We need more cops on our streets, we need more people to help us," Fischer said to a crowd. "Paterson, we're in trouble, and we're not going to be quiet no more -- we're going to make noise."
City residents are infuriated by the fatal shooting of the 12-year-old girl and say they have been suffering through increasing gun violence.
"We need more police on the street, to feel more protected," said Rodriguez. "Innocents are paying for it."
Paterson Mayor Joey Torres, who was sworn in for his third term last week, promised action. He says he wants to hire 25 new police officers a year for the next four years.
Fischer says the girl's parents, siblings and relatives are "hurting, they're in mourning."
"This is senseless," she added.
Rincon's family has set up a Facebook page called Justice4Genesis, and is asking for donations for funeral expenses on GoFundMe.
A second candlelight vigil will be held outside City Hall at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
- Jen Maxfield contributed to this report.