http://wboc.com/Global/story.asp?S=6888649 08/05/2007 3:57 PM ET; Updated 08/07/2007 10:39 AM ET NEWARK, N.J. (CBS/WBOC)- In a city where gun violence has become an all too common part of daily life, these shootings were enough to chill even the most hardened residents: Four young friends shot execution-style in a schoolyard just days before they were to head to college. Three were killed after being forced to kneel against a wall and then shot in the head at close range Saturday night, police said. A girl was found slumped near some bleachers 30 feet away, a gunshot wound to the head but still alive. The four Newark residents were to attend Delaware State University in Dover this fall. No arrests had been made by Monday and authorities had not identified suspects. The shootings ratcheted up anger in New Jersey's largest city, where the murder rate has risen 50 percent since 1998. The high number of killings have prompted billboards in the downtown area that scream, "HELP WANTED: Stop the Killings in Newark Now!" "Anyone who has children in the city is in panic mode," said Donna Jackson, president of Take Back Our Streets, a community-based organization. "It takes something like this for people to open up their eyes and understand that not every person killed in Newark is a drug dealer." The killings bring Newark's murder total for the year to 60, and put pressure on Mayor Cory A. Booker, who campaigned last year on a promise of reducing crime. Jackson said Booker "doesn't deserve another day, another second, while our children are at stake." Booker said Monday that it was "not a time to play politics and divide our city." A $50,000 reward was being offered for information leading to the arrest of those involved, he said. A month ago, Booker and Police Director Garry McCarthy announced that crime in the city had fallen by 20 percent in the first six months of 2007 compared to a year ago. Yet despite decreases in the number of rapes, aggravated assaults and robberies, the murders have continued. Natasha Aeriel, 19, was listed in fair condition at Newark's University Hospital. Police identified her slain companions as her brother, Terrance Aeriel, 18, Iofemi Hightower, 20, and Dashon Harvey, 20. Authorities believe the shootings were a random robbery committed by several assailants and that some of the victims may have tried to resist their attackers. They were piecing together details of the attack from interviews with Natasha Aeriel. Hightower and the Aeriels had been friends since elementary school and played in the marching band at West Side High School. Terrance Aeriel, known as T.J., took Hightower to the school prom in 2006, chauffeured by his sister. At Delaware State they met Harvey, another musician, and struck up a friendship. Friends and family members said the four were not involved in drinking, drugs or gangs. They liked to congregate at the school, which sits in a middle-class neighborhood less than a mile from the campus of Seton Hall University, to hang out and listen to music. Harvey's father, James, said Monday the parents of the assailants were to blame. "If you raised your kids better, this would not happen," he said. Hightower worked two jobs and recently enrolled at the school. One of her jobs was at Brighton Gardens, an assisted living center in nearby West Orange, where her mother also worked. On the afternoon of the killings, she told her mother she planned to spend the night at Natasha Aeriel's house near the Mount Vernon School. "The last time I heard her voice was Saturday night," Hightower said between sobs. "She called me from work to let me know Natasha was going to pick her up and she was going to spend the night. She told me she loved me." The Aerials' mother, Renee Tucker, said the last time she saw them was around 10:30 p.m. Saturday, when they told her they were going around the corner to get something to eat. "They said they were going to come right back to the house," Tucker said. http://wboc.com/Global/story.asp?S=6892986 08/06/2007 10:32 PM ET; Updated 08/07/2007 12:39 PM ET BOWERS BEACH, Del.- Citizens and community leaders wonder why hate-filled graffiti appeared on a Delaware bridge. It appeared on the Brockam Bridge Road in South Bowers Beach and it includes racial slurs including the "N"-word. On the street lies a graphic depiction of a person hanging by a noose. Juana Fuentes-Bowles, director of Delaware's Department of Human Relations, said the graffiti has been there for weeks. "It definitely gave me chills up my spine," she said. "I've seen hate crimes not only in Delaware but other states, and I guess because it was so graphically designed, it made me be aware that I have to be cautious." The spray-painted messages were left as a reminder that this kind of activity does exist. Marian Harris is a local resident who enjoys fishing by the bridge. She said she did not think much of the messages until one day she and her fishing buddies were run out of town. "We got actually chased out of Bowers Beach," Harris said. "Approximately six miles of winding roads and the vehicles turned their lights off and followed us at a close range." Her friends said it is time for the racism to stop. "I was pretty upset that people would still think that narrow mindedly about other races," said Brian Jolley. "That type of bias should no longer be tolerated." According to Fuentes-Bowles, the graffiti was first discovered around June 19. She said that in most cases, the "hate" graffiti takes place because those who spray it are vying for turf, or merely seeking a thrill. In 2005, 77 cases of hate crimes were reported, according to Delaware State Police. In 2006, that number rose to 95. So far this year, the number stands at 18. Fuentes-Bowles said many cases go unreported due to fear. "It's OK to call the Human Relations office," said Fuentes-Bowles. "It's OK to call your local police department and the state police. You can report these things and not give your name." At a Tuesday morning press conference, South Bowers Beach, accompanied by state officials, spoke out on the graffiti. They unanimously agreed that "hate" graffiti will not be tolerated in their community or anywhere else in the state. The Delaware Department of Transportation planned to remove the graffiti later on Tuesday.