Malachi Oji, 19, was driving on North 1st Street when he and two companions rolled up on Niyam Deloatch around 1 p.m. last Monday as he walked near Haledon Avenue in area known as "The Main" that authorities say is controlled by the Bloods Street gang.
One of the trio refused to participate after they got out of Oji’s car and approached Deloatch, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Paterson Police Chief Troy Oswald said Sunday.
The gunman then opened fire outside a corner convenience store, fatally wounding Deloatch, Valdes and Oswald said.
He and Oji got back into the vehicle and fled, they said.
Deloatch died of his injuries a short time later at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center. It was the 14th shooting death in the city this year.
Oji, who was graduated from Paterson Eastside last year, was charged with murder and weapons offenses.
Authorities asked that anyone with information that could help the killer contact the Passaic County prosecutor’s tips line at 1-877-370-PCPO or firstname.lastname@example.org or the Paterson Police Detective Bureau: (973) 321-1120.
They didn't say whether they'd identified a specific suspect, however, or whether they had surveillance images that could help identify him.
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