Suspect in custody after gunman leaves 1 dead, another wounded in Carteret, New Jersey

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, June 13, 2024
Suspect in custody after 1 killed, another critically wounded in Carteret shooting
Anthony Carlo has more on the deadly shooting and the dramatic arrest that followed.

CARTERET, New Jersey (WABC) -- A suspect is in custody after a shooting killed one girl and wounded another in Carteret on Wednesday morning.

The shooting happened on a driveway outside a home along Roosevelt Avenue shortly after 9 a.m.

"They were on the driveway. They were laid out like they sustained injuries to their abdomen and their back," Josh Lenoff, a local business owner, said.

Both victims, two females, were transported to trauma centers via medivac helicopters.

One victim was pronounced dead at the hospital. The other victim is listed in critical condition, officials said.

Witnesses told Eyewitness News that the two people may have been high school-aged girls.

"Scary," added business owner Ramesh Desai. "Been here 25 years and never saw anything like that."

There are schools in the area, and Mayor Dan Reiman's office said Minue School, located a half-mile away from the incident, was locked down.

The shooting prompted a manhunt for the suspect, who was believed to be a man between the ages of 20 and 30 years old.

Police eventually located the suspect in a residential backyard on Post Boulevard, just minutes away from the crime scene.

Neighbor Ana Santiago's Ring video captured the intense moment heavily-armed police came face to face with the suspect. Officers told the man to drop to the ground.

It all happened in Orlando Suarez's backyard.

"I just saw him run into the backyard," Suarez said. "He just runs right into the backyard."

Suarez witnessed police making the critical arrest after an hours-long manhunt, but earlier in the day, his father Elias had a run in with the suspect in their driveway, who unbeknownst to him, was wanted for a double shooting.

"I knew something was off with him. He just didn't seem - he was agitated. He just asked for a cup of water. He looked like he was running through the woods," Elias Suarez said. "It must have happened like five or 10 minutes after he shot somebody. Honestly."

He immediately reported the initial encounter to police - who had already swarmed Carteret with dogs and armored vehicles.

"He comes back a couple hours later, running through our backyard, cops are chasing him. Next thing you know, he tries to jump over our fence to get out, but they end up catching him," Orlando Suarez said.

A piece of the fence outside their home is now missing where cops confronted the suspected gunman.

Santiago cautiously locked her windows, never expecting she'd see the arrest in her neighbor's backyard.

"He's right here! Because all day long you're looking around and keep asking yourself, is the mayor going to post anything? Has he been captured? Is he long gone from Carteret?" Santiago said. "These are young girls. I hope the other makes it."

Now begins the investigation into why in the world someone would shoot the two young women.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Keith Cassens of the Carteret Police Department at 732-541-3852 or Detective Javier Morillo of the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office at 732-745-8843.

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