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Cheerleader forced to her knees and shot to death: Suspects sought

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Newark, New Jersey, has always had a reputation for being a tough town. But the senseless execution-style murder of an innocent 17-year-old girl on the mean streets of that urban jungle has propelled Newark into a whole new level of criminality. USA Today reported on July 3 that Cheyanne Bond from the neighboring town of Irvington and a recent graduate of Malcolm X Shabazz High School in Newark, was viciously shot and killed in Newark on Sunday night.

Cheyanne was walking with her ex- boyfriend when she was accosted and murdered. Her uncle, Michael Bond, said that “They told her to get on her knees and they shot her in the head execution-style." Cheyanne’s uncle also shared that the former cheerleader, who had aspirations of becoming a nurse, was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Cheyanne’s ex-boyfriend was also shot, but survived the ordeal.

Police in Newark are still investigating Cheyanne’s murder, but don’t have any suspects in custody. The police are searching for witnesses and asking anyone with any information regarding the shootings to come forward, according to CBS News in New York.

Cheyanne and her ex were stopped and then shot while walking along Newark’s West Side Park on South 17th Street on Sunday night at approximately 9:45 p.m. Police released a grainy surveillance photo on Tuesday of two males “walking south on South 17th Street just minutes after the shooting who may or may not have witnessed the incident, authorities said.”

Police said one of the males was wearing a white short sleeve shirt with a long sleeve shirt underneath, brown short pants and hood. The second male was wearing blue jeans, a white t-shirt and a cap, police said.

Cheyanne’s friends said that the former cheerleader was “hard-working and quiet and said she was excited about her plans to study nursing at Union County College this fall.” The murdered teen’s family said that the money they had saved for Cheyanne’s college education will now be going toward her funeral expenses.

“She was just about to start her real life as an adult, going to college and now it’s been taken from her,” said family friend Trishema Ratcliffe.

“I’m just hoping they can find justice for her and find the person that did it.”

Including Cheyanne, there were a total of three murders over a 24-hour period in Newark last weekend. Forty-three people have now been murdered in Newark during 2014.

“She always had a smile on her face,” said Sami Armstrong, 17, who knew her from Shabazz.

“She never caused trouble. She brightened everyone’s day.”

There is a $12,000 reward available for any information that leads to an arrest in this heartbreaking case. Tipsters are asked to call the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office tip line at (877) 847-7432 or the Newark Police Department tip line at (877) 695-8477.