SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. –– Police arrested one suspect and were seeking another Sept. 27 after a Seton Hall University student was killed and four other people were wounded during a shooting at an off-campus party two days earlier.
Nicholas Welch, 25, was arrested and charged in connection with the shooting, which occurred early Sept. 25 when a gunman returned to a party where he reportedly had been refused entry and began firing into the room.
Police said they also were looking for a second suspect, Marcus Bascus, 19, who allegedly gave Welch the gun used in the shooting.
The two men face charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder, according to news reports.
Seton Hall sophomore Jessica Moore, 19, died from gunshot injuries sustained at the party in nearby East Orange. Those wounded were two other 19-year-old female Seton Hall students and two men not connected with the Catholic university.
News stories identified the four victims as: Moore’s roommate, sophomore Nakeisha Vanterpool, 19, of the Bronx in New York; Nicosia Henry, a freshman from Bolingbrook, Ill.; Yvan Christophe, 25, a graduate of New Jersey Institute of Technology and formerly of East Orange; and Xavier Lee, 20, of New York.
Party-goers told reporters that Moore was killed when she moved between the gunman and her roommate to help her after Vanterpool was shot in the face.
The Setonian, the campus newspaper, reported that a hastily organized prayer service held hours after Moore died drew an overflow crowd of about 600 people to the University Center’s main lounge.
Priests from the university community led the service and interim university president Gabriel Esteban offered remarks, commenting that Moore’s family is one of strong faith and decrying the senseless violence” that took her life and injured the others.
In a message to the campus posted on the university Web site, Esteban said Moore “was well-loved by all who knew her. She was a true blue Pirate basketball fan and a gifted athlete. As a psychology major, she planned to counsel veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress. Her dreams and hopes were boundless, as were her family’s hopes for her.”
Moore, whose home was reported as Disputanta, Va., listed Clarksville, Tenn., as her childhood hometown on her Facebook page. Funeral arrangements for her were still being finalized, according to Esteban.
“The outpouring of love on our campus gives me hope that we will transcend the trial of this present moment and emerge stronger. It makes one realize that without faith in the Lord we cannot move forward,” he said.