Student wounded outside Atlantic City school

April 24, 2008 6:22:32 PM PDT
An 18-year-old student was shot outside an Atlantic City school Thursday, and another man was fatally shot in a separate attack several blocks away, police said. The male student, Tarik Bright, was shot in the left leg and taken to a hospital with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening, Atlantic City Police Sgt. Monica McMenamin said.

No one has been arrested, she said.

The student was shot as he crossed the street outside the Viking Academy School, an alternative school of about 240 students in grades 7-12, at about 12:20 p.m., Mayor Scott Evans said. The school was briefly locked down, though many students had already left the building for the day, the mayor said.

Bright got into an argument, and the person he was arguing with pulled out a weapon and fired, McMenamin said.

Police weren't sure what sparked the argument. But McMenamin said they believe Bright knows the person who shot him.

Several minutes after the shooting, police chased down and arrested a man a few blocks from the school, McMenamin said. They thought he might have been connected to the student's shooting but he later was determined not to be a suspect. The man had a gun and marijuana, McMenamin said.

Another man was killed in a separate shooting on a street several blocks away around 1:15 p.m., Evans said.

The victim was Pong H. Yu, 59, a construction worker from Sewell, according to Atlantic County First Assistant Prosecutor Murray Talasnik.

Talasnik said Yu, who was married with two children, had gone to see a man about doing a construction project. Police said Yu and the man he went to see, Carlos Smith, were approached by a third man, Jose A. Aleman, who opened fire on them.

Madelaine Vitale, spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office, said Yu was shot to the head and stomach; Smith was grazed in the arm.

Investigators said the shooting did not appear to be random and that there may have been a prior employment relationship between the shooter and the dead man.

Aleman was arrested at the scene by Atlantic City Police Capt. Joseph Fair.

Authorities said Aleman, 69, will be charged with murder, aggravated assault and weapons offenses. He was being held at the Atlantic County Jail Thursday evening pending further proceedings.

His bail was set at $750,000 cash. Vitale said she did not know if Aleman had retained a lawyer.

--- Associated Press writers Tom Hester Jr. and Daniela Flores in Trenton contributed to this report.


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