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More Information Into The Alleged Newburgh Halloween Killer’s Arrest

City of Newburgh Police
City of Newburgh Police

More information has been released regarding the arrest of the wanted Newburgh Halloween killer, who was found out of state Friday.

Acting on a number of tips to both City of Newburgh Police and CrimeStoppers, authorities developed information that 17-year-old Nija Johnson fled Newburgh to Richmond, Virginia.

A joint effort between City of Newburgh Police, New York State Police, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, the Hudson Valley FBI Safe Streets Task Force, Richmond Police and Richmond FBI led to authorities finding Johnson in Richmond.

Johnson was arrested at a private home in the city of Richmond, without incident, around 3 p.m. on Friday.

The 17-year-old is accused of opening up fire at Halloween party, killing two young women and injuring five. About 15 shots were fired at 119 Broadway in the City of Newburgh, Sunday around 12:45 a.m.

City of Newburgh Police identified the two women who were killed as 18-year-old Omani Free and 20-year-old Tabitha Cruz, both from Newburgh.

On Tuesday, police developed Johnson as the shooter. Police did not reveal how they connected Johnson to the murders.

On Monday, City of Newburgh police arrested two men who allegedly helped Johnson immediately after the incident.

Rainer Hamilton, 21, of Newburgh and 20-year-old Tyson Oliveria were both charged with tampering with evidence, a felony. Hamilton was additionally charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, also a felony.

Authorities identified the murder weapon as a handgun. Both are not accused of pulling the trigger, police say.

New York State CrimeStoppers was offering a $2,500 reward for information that led to the location, arrest and conviction of Johnson.

Effort are underway to bring Johnson back to New York. The exact date and time of his return is unknown, police say. When he returns, he will be arraigned in Newburgh City Court.

All five of the injured victims are expected to recover, police say. Their names are not being released.

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