PATERSON, N.J. (PIX11) — Officials said three teenagers were arrested and hit with murder charges Thursday in New Jersey, a week after a college-bound 18-year-old was struck and killed by a stray bullet while helping his grandmother.
According to the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, Jaquin Williams, 19, Kahaz Heron, 18, and Jahed Jones, 19, were arrested in connection to the deadly shooting. All three defendants were charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, possession of a handgun for unlawful purpose, and unlawful possession of a handgun, authorities said.
Officials said an investigation revealed that the three suspects all took part in the shooting and were responsible for the murder of Robert Cuadra.
According to authorities, Paterson police responded around 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 19 to a home on Godwin Avenue after a report of a shooting. Responding officers arrived to find Cuadra lying on the sidewalk with a gunshot wound, officials said.
The teen was rushed to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries, the prosecutor’s office said.
According to his mother, Ivernis Santiago, Cuadra was helping his grandmother with groceries when he was struck by a stray bullet in front of the home. “He’s an excellent kid. He came out great,” his mother said.
Santiago believed her son didn’t even hear the bullets coming, as he was wearing soundproof headphones.
Santiago said her son was a straight-A student at Harp Academy and didn’t misbehave or do drugs. He received a full scholarship to Montclair State University while just a freshman in high school, she said.
Now, instead of preparing to send him off to college in the fall, the grieving mother was planning his funeral.
Watch PIX11’s Michelle Ross’ report on Cuadras’ fatal shooting: