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Shooting at Halloween party leaves 2 teens dead, several wounded in upstate New York

CORVALLIS, OR - NOVEMBER 28: A Corvallis police officer puts up police tape in front of the Salman Al Farisi Islamic Center on November 28, 2010 in Corvallis, Oregon. An arsonist set fire to the prayer center, which was sometimes attended by suspected Portland car bomber Mohamed Osman Mohamud. Mohamud, a Somali-born teenager, was arrested and charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction when  he allegedly attempted to set off a car bomb during Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, Oregon. It was reported that civilians were not at risk because the bomb was supplied to him by undercover federal agents and the explosives were inert.   (Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images)

CORVALLIS, OR - NOVEMBER 28: A Corvallis police officer puts up police tape in front of the Salman Al Farisi Islamic Center on November 28, 2010 in Corvallis, Oregon. An arsonist set fire to the prayer center, which was sometimes attended by suspected Portland car bomber Mohamed Osman Mohamud. Mohamud, a Somali-born teenager, was arrested and charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction when he allegedly attempted to set off a car bomb during Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, Oregon. It was reported that civilians were not at risk because the bomb was supplied to him by undercover federal agents and the explosives were inert. (Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images)  (2010 Getty Images)

A high school senior who was among two people killed at a Halloween party where gunfire broke out had made a last-minute decision to go with a friend, her mother said.

Omani Free, who was 18 years old, decided to go to the party, about five blocks from her home in Newburgh, when a friend became available on Saturday night and otherwise would have been due home around the time the gunfire broke out, said her mother, Rhonda Valentine-Free.

Police in Newburgh, 70 miles north of New York City, said the shooting took place just before 1 a.m. Sunday inside an apartment building, killing Free and 20-year-old Tabitha Cruz. Five people were wounded, but none of the injuries was considered life-threatening. Authorities were looking for a suspect or suspects, who fled the scene.

Valentine-Free said she had left home for her own social engagement and didn't know her daughter had decided to go to the party. She said she and her husband first got word that something had happened when a friend of their 15-year-old son who had been at the party called to say their daughter had been shot. She said they went to a hospital, where their daughter died hours later.

"She was a sweet girl," Valentine-Free said. "She was my chocolate baby."

She said her daughter had gone to a party in another section of the building before without incident.

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