In the shadow of a shooting that killed a pastor last week, over 30 people held a vigil in his honor in Newark Tuesday afternoon and protested the senseless violence that has killed the innocent and guilty alike in this city.
For the protest, they gathered at Broome and Spruce streets, where Donald Hughes, a 47-year-old pastor, was unloading groceries for a big Easter dinner for his family last Friday night and was then shot dead.
Authorities said he appeared to be the victim of a robbery. Family members said he had rushed to the aid of other relatives who had been confronted outside his home by the suspected killer.
At the rally, police cordoned off the intersection as anti-violence activists, nearby residents, and family members of Hughes gathered outside his home.
"I think it's great," Hughes' cousin Anita Miller, who was in the kitchen at the time of the shooting, said about the rally.
She said the gathering typified the kind of person Hughes was: a person who railed against violence and drew strength from his community and God.
"We know he died saving our lives," she said. "He died a hero."
There were no new reports on any arrests or developments on the case late Tuesday night.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Essex County Prosecutor Office's tips hotline at 877-847-7432 or the Newark Police Department hotline at 877-NWK-TIPS (695-8477) or 877-NWK-GUNS (695-4867). All calls will be kept confidential.