Several dozen children clutching water pistols and cap guns were lined up to exchange their fake weapons for books and non-violent toys as word spread that a shooting with a real gun had taken place just blocks away.
A weapon has accidentally discharged, Booker said.
Monday's event in Newark was organized by a grass-roots group called Stop Shootin' Inc. It offered children donated goods including hockey sticks and pucks from the New Jersey Devils, basketballs and Barbie dolls in exchange for toy guns.
According to the Children's Defense Fund and National Center for Health Statistics, between 1979 and 2001, gunfire killed 90,000 children and teens in America.
Stop Shootin' Music is a national non-profit community-based organization that was founded by Newark resident Al'Tarik Onque in 2010. Learn more about it at www.stopshootinmusic.org.