“No one should have to bury their child, especially at 14,” said Lowman Colclough. His family now looks for answers after his 14-year-old son was killed in Newark this past weekend.

Siah Thomas was stabbed in the area of Avon Avenue and Stratford Place on Sunday, March 23. Siah was on his way to play basketball but stopped at a park with his friends. Prosecutors say a man acting erratically attacked Siah in broad daylight.

“He was a good kid, never been in no trouble, nothing like that. He just graduated from the eighth grade and was just going to finish his first year of high school,” Colclough said.

The police told Siah’s parents that the suspect chased the 14-year-old down and plunged a knife into his neck. He died last Wednesday. Police are still searching for the attacker.

According to statistics, homicides across New Jersey jumped to a seven-year high in 2013. At least 409 people died violently last year. More than a quarter of those killings took place in Newark, where the homicide total was 111. Newark saw the most violent 12-month stretch in nearly a quarter century. In Trenton, the number of homicides spiked to 37, the most in the recorded history of the state capital.

Both cities have been fighting crime with fewer police officers, the result of hundreds of layoffs in 2010 and 2011. At the beginning of the year, 100 more police officers were hired in Newark as a new crime-fighting tactic. Newark officials have yet to release the total number of homicides that have occurred this year. On Saturday night, [March 29] Isa Johnson, 24, an East Orange resident, became the latest statistic. He was shot multiple times and killed in the city’s South Ward.