2 men charged in New Jersey drive-by linked to Long Island murder

LODI, New Jersey (WABC) -- Two men already arrested in a deadly drive-by shooting in New Jersey have now been linked to a similar murder on Long Island and are facing charges there as well.

Authorities say 21-year-old Kenneth Regan and 22-year-old Douglas Coudrey killed one man and injured another after opening fire on a car on Route 80 in Lodi just after midnight on January 18.

The 27-year-old driver, Luis Perez, was found shot in the neck and chest and pronounced dead at the scene.

The 24-year-old passenger, Jose Mercado, was shot once in the chest and taken to Hackensack University Medical Center in critical but stable condition.

An investigation led by New Jersey State Police resulted in the arrests of the suspects near Coudrey's residence in Eastport, Long Island, where authorities also found a loaded defaced .22 caliber rifle modified to be used as a submachine gun and a sawed-off shotgun.

Detectives watched them leave the home and then attempted a motor vehicle stop, but the driver fled and crashed a short distance later into a fence. All three individuals were taken into custody without incident.

They were charged with murder, attempted murder and weapons charges in New Jersey, as well as weapons charges in New York.

Pursuant to that investigation, Regan and Coudrey were linked to the drive-by murder of 27-year-old Justin Gottlieb, who was shot several times as he exited his vehicle at his home on Margaret Drive in Plainview around 5:30 p.m. on January 14.

Authorities say Gottlieb had left his place of employment in Jericho and was operating a 2002 red Ford Explorer when he was followed home by a driver in a white four-door sedan.

Nassau County Detective Lieutenant Stephen Fitzpatrick revealed that Gottlieb relayed information to his parents outside his home before he passed away, telling them two men were chasing him and offering a description of the vehicle.

Authorities determined that car was the one involved in the Lodi shooting, and the guns recovered in the home were also linked to the Plainview murder.

"They recently had been on a criminal tear of armed robberies, carjackings and other sorts of crimes," Fitzpatrick said.

The motives in both shootings remains unclear, though the Lodi shooting is believed to have been targeted. Road rage is being eyed in the Plainview shooting.

Both investigations are ongoing.

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