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1 killed, 3 shot after NJ Mother’s Day motorcycle blessing

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The mayor of New Jersey’s largest city said Monday that permit policies will be revised in the wake of a deadly shooting that broke out after an annual Mother’s Day motorcycle blessing.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka announced his plans at a news conference one day after the shooting that left a teenager dead and three other people wounded. He called the shooters “cowards” and vowed they would be captured.

“There’s no place for them to hide,” Baraka said. “We’re going to get them, and we’re going to bring them to justice.”

Noting that city police didn’t sign off on the event, Baraka said his administration is investigating how and why a permit for the event was signed by “employees within the city.” Police officers were present at the event, officials said.

The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office says the shooting erupted Sunday evening in the city’s South Ward. It was earlier the scene of the Blessing of the Bikes, an event sponsored by the Newark Knights motorcycle club to mark the beginning of the riding season.

Al-Shakeen Woodson, 15, was pronounced dead at a hospital, while three men were treated for non-life-threatening injuries. A motive for the shooting remains under investigation, and authorities said it was not clear if the shooting was linked to the crowded event.

No arrests have been made.

Baraka said the city would revise its policies to help ensure that the mayor’s office has final say on all large activities, events and festivals. He also said his administration is reviewing whether the motorcycle club properly classified the type and size of event it was planning.

A Newark Knights representative declined to comment.

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