Gunman sought after Wayne High School grad murdered in Paterson

Posted at 9:31 AM, Jun 28, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-28 11:09:38-04

Police are hunting for a killer after he took the life of a New Jersey high school football player on his graduation day.

18-year-old Isaac Rinas graduated from Wayne Valley High School in Wayne Thursday and was shot and killed that same night on a street in Paterson.

Samantha McEwan, a neighbor of the teen, told PIX11 News:  “I think it’s like heartbreaking. I feel so bad for the family and every one of his friends and the class that he graduated with.”

McEwan says she’s known Rinas for years.  “He was funny, outgoing, always happy.”

Rinas’ body was found outside a black 2013 Infinity that he had been driving.  He had a gunshot wound to his neck.  Cops aren’t sure what he and a friend were doing in front of 366 Fair St. in Paterson’s 4th ward, which police describe as an area know for guns, gangs and drugs.

Cops say Rinas and his friend pulled over, and a man got into the back seat on the passenger side and pulled out a gun. He demanded Rinas’ friend give him money,  and that the friend get out of the car, which he did according to police.

Cops say Rinas and the suspect got out of the car and the man shot Rinas.

It was a violent end to what should have been a happy day.

“It’s just sad to see someone go down in such a sad way,” said friend Michael Minucui, who occasionally worked out with Rinas.  “The streets are nothing to play around with. Someone can take you out in two seconds.”

Friend Samantha McEwan told PIX11 : “I think he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. People get caught up  in what’s going on.  I don’t know if it was drugs or anything.  I don’t think it really matters what it was.  Now he’s gone.”

Ironically, friends of Isaac Rinas said he dreamed of becoming a cop after high school.