Video: Saying goodbye to slain N.J. students

updated 8/11/2007 3:19:20 PM ET 2007-08-11T19:19:20

The mayor of New Jersey’s largest city pounded a podium, yelling “Enough is enough!” at Saturday’s funeral for one of the three friends killed by shots to the head in a schoolyard.

Mayor Cory A. Booker was interrupted by applause at Metropolitan Baptist Church as he urged Newark residents to help fight the city’s alarming murder rate.

“We need to raise our children,” he said at the service for Dashon Harvey, 20.

The schoolyard slayings, plus an unrelated homicide soon afterward, brought the murder total for the year to 60, almost equal to the 63 that had taken place in the same period a year earlier.

Services were also held for Terrance Aeriel, 18, at New Hope Baptist Church. A later funeral was expected at the end of the morning Iofemi Hightower, 20, at Grace Temple Baptist Church.

The friends were shot on the playground of an elementary school last weekend during an apparent robbery attempt.

All three were ordered to kneel in front of a wall, then shot in the back of the head, authorities have said. Terrance Aeriel’s sister, Natasha Aeriel, was shot in the head near a set of bleachers but survived and helped investigators identify a suspect.

A 28-year-old man and two 15-year-old boys have been arrested in the case, while authorities announced on Saturday an arrest warrant was issued for a fourth suspect.

‘I am here with a broken heart’
The funerals drew people from the community as well the state’s political leaders.

“As a human being, not just your governor, I am here with a broken heart, a sad heart, a heavy heart,” Gov. Jon S. Corzine said at Harvey’s funeral. “These children deserved better.”

Image: Jose Carranza
Mike Derer  /  AP
Jose Carranza, suspected of killing three students, appears in court Friday.
At Ariel’s funeral, an overflow crowd heard a friend remember the ordained minister as someone who reached out to help others even as a youngster.

“As I grew up with him, he never changed,” said Victoria Irving. “He stayed the same. He always had God on his mind. That’s what I loved about him. And he was a great help to me.”

Harvey and the Aeriels were students at Delaware State University, and Hightower planned to join them this fall.

The tragedy “has reverberated beyond our city, beyond our state, and across the nation,” New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram said at Ariel’s funeral.

On Thursday, Booker announced the arrest of 28-year-old Jose Carranza and a 15-year-old male who was not identified because of his age. Another 15-year male was arrested Friday night.

Authorities were seeking other suspects, and on Saturday announced an arrest warrant for Rodolfo Godinez, 24, described as a Nicaraguan national.

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