NEWARK — Eight people were shot Tuesday night and early Wednesday within the city, including six of them over just two and a half hours, according to police.

The mayor said the violence was a result of an influx of illegal guns in the city.

Newark police said the rash of gunfire started around 6:25 p.m., when two young men were both shot, in the area of Lincoln Street and Court Street.

One of those men was reportedly in critical condition, while the second man's condition is listed as stable, according to officials.

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"We are shocked and disgusted by this outrageous level of senseless violence and it will not be tolerated," Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Public Safety Director Brian O’Hara said in a joint, written statement.

The gunfire continued overnight, as police confirmed the following incidents:

    • 8:10 p.m.: Two teens, 15 and 17, were shot while driving in a car reported as stolen, in the area of Quitman Street near Montgomery Street.
    • 8:40 p.m.: An 18-year-old individual was shot on Maybaum Avenue near Tremont Avenue.
    • 9:10 p.m.: A 15-year-old individual was found shot, outside in an apartment courtyard on Munn Avenue.
    • 10:10 p.m.: A man was shot in the area of 17th Avenue and Hunterdon Street. He was said to be stable condition at University Hospital.
    • 12:35 a.m. A man found with severe injuries near the intersection of Orange Street and Roseville Avenue.
    • Shots were reported fired in the 100 block of Telford Street, where an arrest also was made.

Baraka and O'Mara both said they think that the shootings were the result of a wave of illegal guns, winding up in the hands of criminals.

"While New Jersey has some of the strictest gun laws in our nation, people who absolutely should not have guns possess them illegally," Baraka and O'Mara said.

The city has recovered 696 illegal weapons this year as of early November, up 32% from the same period last year.

Police also have so far recovered 32 "ghost" guns in 2021, as compared to just seven in 2020, much of which was the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A "ghost gun" lacks a serial number by which it can be identified, making it virtually untraceable.

Three illegal guns, including a handgun and an assault rifle, were recovered on Wednesday — following 10 illegal weapons arrests in the last week.

City officials said that community members need to get mad at the presence of illegal weapons, too.

"We also need the public to be as enraged as we are about the number of illegal weapons causing injury to our residents," Baraka and O'Mara said.

They asked anyone with information about potentially illegal weapons to report them to 1-877-NWK-TIPS.

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