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NY teen admits to killing 2, wounding 5 at Halloween party

Nija Johnson, 17, pleaded guilty to fatally shooting two young women and wounding five other people during a Halloween party in upstate New York last year.  (Photo: Newburgh PD)

Nija Johnson, 17, pleaded guilty to fatally shooting two young women and wounding five other people during a Halloween party in upstate New York last year. (Photo: Newburgh PD)

NEWBURGH, N.Y. — A teenager has pleaded guilty to fatally shooting two young women and wounding five other people during a Halloween party in upstate New York last year.

The Times Herald-Record of Middletown reports  17-year-old Nija Johnson pleaded guilty Thursday in Orange County Court to two counts of second-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder.

He admitted to opening fire during a party being held Oct. 30 in Newburgh, 55 miles north of New York City. Eighteen-year-old Omani Free and 20-year-old Tabitha Cruz were killed.

Johnson was taken into custody in Richmond, Virginia, a week after the shooting. He faces 40 years to life in prison.

Prosecutors say security video at the party venue showed Johnson opened fire with a .40-caliber pistol with an extended 20-round magazine. Authorities say none of the victims were his intended target.