A 47-year-old Newark man was shot to death Friday night in an apparent robbery, the Essex County Prosecutor's Office announced.
Donald Hughes, who ABC-NY is reporting is pastor of Praise Tabernacle Worship Ministries in New Brunswick, was shot at 166 Spruce St. in the city at 11:20 p.m. and died around midnight after being transported to University Hospital.
NJ.com reports that Hughes had started the congregation about a year ago and had been meeing in a community hall in a South Brunswick condominium development and that it would be moving to New Brunswick.
"Unfortunately robbery is a crime of opportunity that can take place at any given moment and sometimes turning fatal," Newark Police Director Samuel DeMaio said in a statement. "There are several occasions where citizens have fallen victim to robberies, including our police officers, politicians and clergy members who are an integral part of the city's diverse community."
He added, "This case is being investigated by the Homicide Task Force where detectives will be working around the clock to apprehend the person(s) responsible for the murder of a distinguished community leader. I offer my deepest condolences to the Hughes family and would like to assure them that every effort is being made to apprehend the individuals responsible for this senseless crime."
The homicide is being investigated by the ECPO's Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force and the Newark Police Department.
Anyone with information is urged to call the ECPO's tips hotline at 877-847-7432. All calls will be kept confidential. ABC is reporting that a $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest. The investigation is ongoing.