Teen who went to Halloween party with friend is among 2 dead

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NEWBURGH, N.Y. (AP) — A high school senior who made a last-minute decision to go to a nearby Halloween party was among two people killed when a shooting took place there early Sunday, her mother said.

Omani Free, who was 18 years old, decided to go to the party, about five blocks from her home in Newburgh, when a friend became available on Saturday night and otherwise would have been due home around the time the gunfire broke out, said her mother, Rhonda Valentine-Free.

Police in Newburgh, 70 miles north of New York City, said the shooting took place just before 1 a.m. Sunday inside an apartment building, injuring several people. Authorities were looking for a suspect or suspects, who fled the scene. They didn’t release the names of those who died.

Valentine-Free said she had left home for her own social engagement and didn’t know her daughter had decided to go to the party. She said she and her husband first got word that something had happened when a friend of their 15-year-old son who had been at the party called to say their daughter had been shot. She said they went to a hospital, where their daughter died hours later.

“She was a sweet girl,” Valentine-Free said. “She was my chocolate baby.”

She said her daughter had gone to a party in another section of the building before without incident.

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