“Mother’s Day will never be the same for my sisters and I,” said Tanika Zigler, the aunt of 15-year-old Al-Shakeen Woodson, during a recent news radio interview. “Never.”
Woodson was left dead and three other men were injured after a shooting in Newark at the “Blessing of the Bikes” event Mother’s Day.
Reports indicate the shooting took place in the South Ward around 7:45 p.m. Sunday. Four teens have been charged in the shooting from two rival groups. Woodson was an innocent bystander caught in the crossfire.
“Our heart goes out to the Woodson family,” said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. “This child was out trying to enjoy himself on an afternoon and it turned deadly, who had nothing to do with any dispute that was going on,”
A video on social media shows a woman performing CPR on the teen in front of crowd of people. Woodson was taken to the hospital where he died just 15 minutes after the shooting.
“All I know is that he was a good kid … he did not deserve it,” Woodson’s mother said in a radio interview.
Since the shooting, there has been a debate over the “Blessing of the Bikes” event, which has been held for more than 40 years. Police were on the scene for the event; however, safety concerns still linger.
The Newark Knights and other bike club officials who host the event said the shooting occurred hours after the event ended, blocks away. The event is dubbed a peaceful event to kick off the biking season, drawing people from across the area.
More than 2,000 people were reportedly on the scene when Woodson was shot.
At a press conference Monday, Baraka called the shooters “cowards” and vowed the suspects will be caught and to make changes to city policies.
Baraka said police did not authorize the event, but a permit from the city allowed the annual event to take place.
“We need to make sure that the mayor’s office has a final say so on all large activities, events, festivals and permits,” he said. “Never again will the city issue a permit to have an event that scale without the mayor’s approval.”
The mayor questioned whether a festival permit was even taken out by the Newark Knights. Baraka said the city would not approve one, citing that it would cost the city money for cleanup and police patrols.