By Philip Sean Curran, Staff Writer
A Newark resident was shot to death in a cousin’s apartment on Jacoby Street Sunday morning and authorities continue to look for the killer.
Victoria Carmen White, 28, had gone to the 43rd Street Cafe in Irvington with her cousin, where they met two men, White’s relatives said Sept. 13.
The two men later were let into the first-floor apartment, although the Essex County Proscutor’s Office would only say the shooting occurred around 5 a.m.
White was pronounced dead at the scene of “multiple” gunshot wounds, said Katherine Carter, a spokeswoman for acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino.
As for a possible motive, Carter said, “We’re investigating that at this point.”
While across the street from the apartment building on Sept. 13, relatives of the victim said they want justice.
They said White was a model and dancer who had no enemies.
“We’re very angry. We’re upset,” said Robelia Reid-White, Victoria’s maternal grandmother, in a subsequent phone interview. As recently as Sept. 13, the Prosecutor’s Office continued to identify the victim as James White, 29, of Newark.
Later in the day, Laurino’s office issued a press advisory saying that “following an examination by the medical examiner and further investigation, it has been confirmed that the victim was a post-operative transgender female having undergone sex reassignment surgery.”
The Prosecutor’s Office said White’s birth certificate “was legally changed to identify her as Victoria Carmen White.”
Laurino’s office, which has not released more information on the case, has not said how the initial error in identifying White’s gender was made. Maplewood police Capt. Paul Conlon said that all information about the shooting would come through the Prosecutor’s Office.
This marked the second homicide in Maplewood in 2010. Arthur Downey, 27, was found dead of asphyxiation March 15 in a residence on Henry Place. His death remains unsolved, Carter said.
Philip Sean Curran can be reached at 908-686-7700, ext. 116, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.