Seven people were shot, three of them fatally, in an explosion of violence in Newark on Thursday evening. The bloodshed was part of a spate of shootings and violent carjackings — including the carjacking of a state official — in the city over the last month.
Late last month, the city laid off 163 police officers, about 13 percent of the force. Many residents feared the result might be a return to the rampant crime and bloodshed that dogged Newark for years.
Already this year, the city was experiencing a rise in crime, including murder rates in some neighborhoods that are double what they were last year. But since the layoffs, the city has seen several more waves of violence, including a three-day stretch last week with at least six carjackings and six shootings. One of the latest carjacking victims, a lieutenant for the state attorney general’s office, had his car taken from him at gunpoint on South Orange Avenue on Wednesday night.