Bystander Velma Cuttino, 43, killed in crossfire during Newark shootout
NEWARK - A woman shot and killed in a Monday evening shooting in Newark was an innocent bystander, according to police.
Neighbors of 43-year-old Velma Cuttino say the death of a woman caught in the crossfire has hit close to home. "It could have been any one of us," says Tyrone Caldwell. "It could have been any one of us."
Another neighbor, Charles Ikeme, says Cuttino was a hard-working wife and mother.
Cuttino was a passenger in a car stopped at a red light at the corner of Irvine Turner Boulevard and Spruce Street at around 5 p.m. Monday when she was hit.
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Prosecutors say a group of men in one car opened fire on men in another car. Cuttino was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Residents wonder if the crime could have struck even closer. "My daughter catches the bus every day here," says Jane Hall. "My daughter could have been at the bus stop and been shot. It's terrible."
Velma's husband tells News 12 New Jersey that at the time of the shooting, he was driving and she was in the passenger seat. They were going to buy new curtains for their house.
Cuttino worked as a home health care nurse, he says, before deciding to stay home and spend more time with her daughter.
The family has not yet announced funeral arrangements.