18-year-old Casey Cole of Wayne was arrested for the murder of 18-year-old Isaac Rinas.
Cole is charged with 2nd Degree Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, 1st Degree Murder, and 2nd Degree Robbery.
"This is a terrible thing, you have to be a real scumbag to do something like this," said Andrew Montayne, the victim's classmate.
Investigators say the suspect set up his buddy, his fellow classmate, to get robbed and murdered the night of his high school graduation.
"I don't know why he was with Isaac, I don't know why Isaac was with him, Isaac knows that kid is bad news," said Patrick Benson, the victim's classmate.
These newly minted Wayne Valley High School graduates say the arrest of 18-year-old Casey Cole for conspiracy and felony murder in the death of their good friend Isaac Rinas sadly came as no surprise.
"To be honest I wasn't too shocked, I was almost relieved that they got this kid, you know hopefully they have solid evidence to prove that he did this and that he's more responsible, possibly more responsible than the shooter himself," Montayne said.
Cole initially told police he and Rinas were near 18th and Fair Streets Wednesday evening in Paterson when a man got into the back set of their car, ordered them out and shot Rinas in the neck.
Now police say Cole was in on the whole thing in a ploy to rob Rinas.
"No matter how much money it was, nothing would justify something like this," Montayne said.
At the same time, his friends were expecting him at an overnight post-graduation event and were trying to reach him by phone.
"he had every intention of coming after graduation and he should have been there," said Christian Gilberti, the victim's classmate.
At Cole's home Friday evening, there was no answer.
Over the phone his attorney told Eyewitness News, "Two or more families are devastated. It's horrific. It's a tragedy on all levels. The details are still unfolding."
"It hurts people even more to know that it was someone he went to school with for four years, you know would do this to him," Montayne said.
Bail for Cole has been set at $2,000,000 cash, with a bail source hearing.