Orange residents: Killings have gotten out of hand

ORANGE, NJ — Orange residents have been taken aback by a recent increase in incidents of gun violence on their city streets, culminating in the quadruple shooting on Thursday, Nov. 3, that left two people dead, including a 21-month-old child.

The recent spate of violence began when Orange police responded Thursday, Oct. 6, at 6:57 p.m. to shots fired in the area of North Day Street and Gist Place. A victim who had sustained a gunshot wound to his lower jaw area and a grazed right shoulder flagged the police down and reported the incident while sitting inside a 2002 Land Rover with his brother and a friend.

Responding officers reported that gunshots had broken two rear windows on the vehicle and there was blood in and about it. It was determined the incident took place at 287 North Day St., where glass fragments from the vehicle were later found. The Land Rover was towed away and impounded for further inspection and the victim was transported to UMDNJ Hospital in Newark by emergency medical services. The victim, his brother and another witness described the perpetrators as two black males, one wearing a gray sweatshirt, the other wearing a red sweatshirt.

The violence continued Saturday, Oct. 29, when Orange police officers responded to a report of shots being fired at 11:29 p.m. in the vicinity of Main Street and Lincoln Avenue, behind the post office.

According to a witness, two vehicles went under a bridge and the occupants of a Dodge Charger began shooting at a white BMW. Officers reported that bullets struck a parked Honda Civic, a parked BMW and Reddz Grill 7 Bistro, which “has a shattered glass door located on the south side of the business,” which is located at Lincoln Avenue and Main Street.

The witness told police the two vehicles fled the scene, traveling north on Lincoln Avenue, then turning west on Main Street. Three parking meters in front of 403 Main St. were also struck, police said.

“A total of 25 shell casings were found,” according to a police report on Saturday, Oct. 29. “While at the scene, Orange Police Headquarters was contacted by the UMDNJ Hospital, stating that a male had walked in with a injury to his left hand from being shot. An officer and a detective responded to UMDNJ and spoke with the victim, who stated that he and the driver of a white BMW were at the intersection of Freeway Drive and South Center Street, when they heard what sounded like shots and then realized that someone was shooting at the vehicle they were in.”

At that point, police said the victim at the hospital told officers the driver had attempted to evade the “dark colored Dodge Charger” by fleeing west on Freeway Drive to Crane Street then going north on Lincoln Avenue. At that point, officers reported, the victim and the BMW driver became uncooperative.

Police said the BMW was registered to an owner who was not the driver; it was towed for investigation. Police later discovered the driver had outstanding warrants out of Orange.

And the violence has not stopped.

Tisa Borenstein, the daughter of veteran Theresa Borenstein, who was honored at last week’s Veteran’s Day parade, said there are very simple reasons why Orange has gotten wild during Mayor Dwayne Warren’s watch.

“They don’t care about us,” said Tisa Borenstein at the parade on Saturday, Nov. 12. “There aren’t enough good cops.”

Attempts to contact the mayor or his brother, police Director Todd Warren, about the recent spate of gun violence in Orange were unsuccessful by press time this week.

As a military police officer in the Criminal Investigation Division, Theresa Borenstein said she understands how hard it can be to investigate incidents such as those occurring recently in Orange, but that doesn’t give the administration a free pass, even if they choose to honor her as a veteran.

“All of a sudden, I get an email from my daughter telling me I’m being honored and nobody told me anything,” said Borenstein. “Going into the Army builds you into the person that you’re going to become. It shows you the type of person that you can become. Rather than being out here in the streets, it gives you more of a challenge. And this way, it helps you to focus better on yourself.

“But all these shootings and killings that’s been happening ain’t right. The city needs to do something about it.”