A New Jersey cheerleader shot and killed near her home in Newark has stunned the local community this week. The 17-year-old teen girl was said to be forced to her knees and then shot in the head in an almost execution-style killing. Freep News reports this Thursday, July 3, 2014, that the victim has been identified as Cheyenne Bond; she was walking home with a former boyfriend when the devastating crime occurred.
With plans to become a nurse and only having graduated high school a couple of weeks ago, Cheyenne Bond was said to be doing wonderfully and had everything in her life looking the right way. However, the 17-year-old teen and New Jersey cheerleader was suddenly shot while walking along a local street in Newark, cutting her life's dreams short. Less than 10 minutes away from her home, she and her boyfriend were wounded by gunfire on Sunday evening. Although Bond’s ex-boyfriend managed to survive the violent ordeal, the female victim died from a direct shot to the head.
According to an emerging police report on the deadly shooting, Cheyenne Bond and a former boyfriend were strolling through West Side Park at the time of the attack. The boy, who was also 17 years old, has not had his identity revealed at this time. Police have confirmed that the New Jersey cheerleader shot fatally in the head was killed in an execution-like manner; the girl was forced to kneel down, and was said to simply be in an unfortunate location when the incident occurred.
“They told her to get on her knees and they shot her in the head execution style,” Bond’s uncle, Michael Bond, shared with CBS News this week. “Just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
A number of deaths in Newark have surged in this week alone. The press release confirmed that Cheyenne Bond’s senseless death was in fact the third murder reported in the Newark area over the weekend. A recently elected mayor, Ras Baraka, discussed the 17-year-old teen’s tragic death after winning this Tuesday’s official inauguration. The issue of violence is something the new mayor intends to tackle in his political position.
“Some are even afraid to patronize their corner stores or worse, still mourning the deaths of their loved ones from senseless violence,” Mayor Baraka said.
In light of the popular cheerleader, recent high school graduate, and aspiring nurse being killed in the sudden shooting, other residents in the New Jersey area are speaking out about their unwillingness to walk their own streets. They feel that the neighborhood is no longer a safe place to be outdoors, even in broad daylight or around their homes. News Max adds:
“You can’t even go to your own park in your own neighborhood without somebody getting shot down,” one resident, Ms. Stephanie Lowe, said in a statement.
An official investigation into Bond’s death is being launched by law enforcement authorities in Newark. Due to the ongoing nature of the case, most details about the New Jersey cheerleader being shot in the head — other than the fact the girl was mysteriously forced to her knees during the attack — are not being disclosed. Police are still working to locate the 17-year-old’s killer. At this time, it is believed that a pair of men wearing hoods spotted via video camera around the West Park area might have seen or heard something that could assist with the investigation. When Cheyenne’s ex-boyfriend has recovered from his own injuries, he is also expected to be interviewed about the harrowing experience.
"You see these young people here, standing so boldly to say they're hurt," local Minister Thomas Ellis stated to the press during a Tuesday vigil for Cheyenne Bond. "They’re shocked, traumatized. They’ve lost a friend to senseless violence."
The reason for the shooting has not been determined, but it is not thought at this time that the girl was specifically targeted. Bond’s family members have shared that money they were saving up for her to attend college will now instead be paid for her funeral expenses. This incidence of youth violence is truly heartbreaking.