updated 7/20/2009 8:52:43 PM ET 2009-07-21T00:52:43

Three shootings in Newark on Monday have left three people dead and seven wounded in the latest outburst of violence in northern New Jersey.

The three shootings happened in a six-hour span, in a six-mile radius, and just days after eight police officers were injured in a confrontation a short distance away in Jersey City.

Gunfire first erupted shortly after 1:30 p.m. near Newark's Weequahic Park. Five people were shot — three men and two women — by gunfire from a passing car, according to authorities.

A short time later, three men were shot — two fatally, less than four miles away.

Two others were wounded in a third shooting about 7 p.m., in a neighborhood a few miles north of the second incident.

Newark Police Director Garry McCarthy said of the first two shootings didn't appear to be related. Officials haven't made an assessment on the third incident.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker condemned the violence through his Twitter account, calling the violence outrageous and unacceptable and saying those responsible will be caught.

A woman was killed in the first attack — 35-year-old Nakisha Allen of Newark — when the shooter fired into a crowd. Three others were taken to University Hospital, and a fourth victim was taken to Beth Israel Hospital, Newark police said.

Essex County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Paul Loriquet said the southern Newark neighborhood is prone to violence.

"There have been numerous shootings in the area," he said.

Violence-prone neighborhood
Residents in the area of the second attack said their neighborhood is struggling with illegal drug sales and violence, too. Betty Mitchell, 76, said it's heating up this summer after a fairly quiet six months.

"I'm scared," Mitchell said. "I was taking a nap upstairs when I heard what sounded like firecrackers going off, but I've heard enough shootings in their neighborhood to know better. I can tell the difference."

In the first shooting, McCarthy said that at least two men got out of a car and began firing on the victims who were sitting on a stoop.

"This incident was targeted," McCarthy said.

No motive or suspects have been named. No money was taken.

The three shootings occurred shortly after authorities in nearby Jersey City reported Monday that an officer wounded in a shootout last week is not expected to survive. Seven other officers were injured, one critically, and the two suspects were killed in that gunfight.

Authorities have not released the names and conditions of any of the surviving victims in the Newark attacks.

"They could serve as potential witnesses," Loriquet explained.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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