Teen Killed Hours After Graduation

Police in North Jersey make an arrest in the teen's murder

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    Police made an arrest Friday in the case of a suburban teenager who was shot and killed hours after his high school graduation during a trip to a high-crime neighborhood in the city of Paterson.
     

    The Passaic County prosecutor's office said 18-year-old Casey Cole of Wayne was charged with felony murder and other charges. Bail was set at $2 million cash.  
    A call to Cole's attorney went unanswered Friday.
     
    Eighteen year-old Isaac Rinas and a friend drove to a blighted, dangerous neighborhood in Paterson after Rinas had received his diploma Wednesday from Wayne Valley High School, according to police.
     
    Police told The Record newspaper the teens parked and a man entered the vehicle, brandished a gun and demanded money from the friend.
     
    Police said Rinas and the gunman got out of the car and the man fired one shot into Rinas' neck before fleeing.
     
    Chief assistant prosecutor Michael DeMarco of the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office said investigators were not jumping to any conclusions about what Rinas and his friend were doing in the neighborhood.
     
    But The Record reported the area where the shooting occurred is known by authorities as a haven for gang activity, drugs and gun violence.
     
    The newspaper quoted a neighbor as saying that Rinas was supposed to attend a Project Graduation party sponsored by the school.
     
    The event was started during the 1990s as part of a campaign to steer young people to controlled parties, without alcohol or drugs, after proms and graduation ceremonies.
     
    The city of Paterson is about a 10-minute drive from Wayne, a community of 54,000.

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