Arrest made in murder of New Jersey high school soccer standout

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Friday, August 6, 2021
Arrest made in murder of high school soccer standout
An arrest has been made in the murder of a high school soccer player in New Jersey.

MAPLEWOOD, New Jersey (WABC) -- An arrest has been made in the murder of a high school soccer player in New Jersey.

Essex County authorities announced that 20-year-old Yohan Hernandez is charged with the murder of 18-year-old Moussa Fofana.

Hernandez was arrested Thursday and is also facing aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose charges.

Authorities said the investigation is ongoing.

"My family felt a great sense of relief this afternoon upon learning of the arrest in the shooting death of our beloved son, Moussa Fofana," Hawa Fofana said. "We would like to express our gratitude to law enforcement and to our entire community for their commitment to justice over the last couple of months."

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Fofana, an 18-year-old junior who played varsity soccer at Columbia High School, was shot and killed June 6 at Underhill Field.

In July, the reward for information in his killing was increased to $50,000 including $10,000 from a former town mayor who is trying to raise more funds from others.

"The most important thing is justice for Moussa Fofana, we want to see the person or persons responsible for his murder apprehended," said former Mayor Fred Profeta.

There is already a push to rename the field in Fofana's honor.

A GoFundMe page set up to help cover funeral costs had raised more than $128,000.

Friends previously said Fofana was driven to succeed.

"He was one of the hardest working persons I know," friend Joshua Billec said. "I'll wake up in the morning sometimes and I'd have a SnapChat or video from him, and it would be from last night at like 10 p.m. and he'd be at the soccer field in the middle of winter at 10 with just a flashlight on, training. It was his dream to go pro, and I feel like he had the talent and the work ethic to do it."

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A 17-year-old classmate was also shot in the incident and was treated for a non-life-threatening gunshot wound.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Essex County Prosecutor's Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force at 1-877-TIPS-4EC or 1-877-847-7432.


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