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Sympathies pour in for woman gunned down on New Jersey street

Kashif Parvaiz is charged with plotting the death Tuesday of his wife, Nazish Noorani.

Associated Press

Kashif Parvaiz is charged with plotting the death Tuesday of his wife, Nazish Noorani.

BOONTON, N.J. — Condolences poured in for a New Jersey woman who was gunned down while she walked along a quiet street Tuesday with her son and husband, who has admitted plotting the killing with another woman, authorities said.

Kashif Parvaiz was wounded in the shooting that killed Nazish Noorani, 27. They were walking with their 3-year-old son to a relative's house when shots rang out Tuesday night. The boy was unharmed. The couple's other son, 5, was with family members in the house.

Parvaiz and Antionette Stephen, 26, of Billerica, Mass., both face charges of murder, conspiracy and weapons offenses. He also faces child-endangerment charges.

Parvaiz, 26, told police his family had been attacked by a group of men who called them terrorists, authorities said Friday, but Stephen and Parvaiz exchanged text messages in the days leading up to the shooting, according to an arrest affidavit released by the Morris County prosecutor's office. Texts from Stephen's number describe driving around the neighborhood to see how far away the nearest police station was.

"You hang in there. Freedom is just around ur corner," read one text sent from a phone listed to Stephen's father to Parvaiz, according to the affidavit.

Friends and family set up a website, nazishmemorialfund.org, to help the couple's two children. Writers on its guestbook told of difficulty making sense of what happened and called her death "senseless and stupid."

Parvaiz, who has been in the hospital, was being held on $1 million bail. Authorities said they did not know whether he had a lawyer.

Stephen was arrested Thursday in Massachusetts and arraigned Friday on a fugitive-from-justice charge. She was being held without bail at a women's prison there. It's not clear when she might be returned to New Jersey.

Parvaiz told investigators the couple were attacked by black and white males who shouted ethnic slurs, authorities said. In his initial story, the group shouted something about the family being "terrorists," authorities said.

But within hours, "it was obvious to investigators that this was sadly the alleged handiwork of the victim's husband," Morris County prosecutor Robert Bianchi said.

Bianchi didn't say whether Stephen and Parvaiz were romantically involved, who pulled the trigger or whether the same person shot both Parvaiz and Noorani.

Noorani was buried Friday after services at an Islamic center in Boonton, a small town about 25 miles west of New York with a solid Pakistani population.

She was a native of Karachi, Pakistan, while Parvaiz was originally from Brooklyn, relatives have said. Stephen's parents emigrated from India.

Sympathies pour in for woman gunned down on New Jersey street 08/20/11 [Last modified: Saturday, August 20, 2011 8:48pm]

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