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Amid July 4th Fireworks, Shooting on Tabernacle Way Injures One

Sources on Scene: Victim's Injuries Came From Shattered Glass, Not a Bullet
Crime scene
Crime scene Charlie Kratovil

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—About five hours after the city's official fireworks celebration came to an end, gunfire rang out just a few blocks away, leaving one man injured from broken glass.

Police confirmed that "gunshots were fired" on July 4 at approximately 2:30 am in the area of Building 3 at the New Brunswick Apartments.

Tabernacle Way separates the apartments from the Riverside public housing complex in the city's First Ward.

The scene was less than 1,000 feet from Boyd Park, where hundreds of residents had gathered to watch the city's annual fireworks display, which was held on the evening of July 3.

But an array of unofficial, amateur fireworks set off throughout the weekend made it hard for residents to discern the difference between innocent holiday fun and what could be a dangerous shooting situaion, a task made even more difficult this year with the NBPD's decision to keep the public from listening to their radio transmissions.

Three ambulances were dispatched to the scene, according to emergency radio transmissions, but only one was needed, according to bystanders.

"The driver’s side window of a parked vehicle was broken as a result of the gunshots," confirmed NBPD Captain JT Miller.

A group of people assembled near the crime scene told NBToday that one person had been injured in the shooting, but that the person's injuries came from the glass that once made up the vehicle's window.

Police and EMS workers were observed using flashlights to search the Tabernacle Way, apparently looking for evidence of the gunshots among the sea of shattered glass that littered much of the roadway.  

Without explicitly saying whether anyone had been injured, Captain Miller said only that, "No individuals received gunshot wounds as a result of the incident. "

"Witnesses described two African-American males who approached the park vehicle while firing multiple shots," said Miller.  "The suspects then fled the area in a blue Saturn in the direction of Tabernacle Way."

The NBPD did not publicize the incident, either by way of a press release or the city's Nixle alert system.