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Man Killed By Stray Shot Fired in "Gated" Community Where Gate Has Been Left Open for Over a Year

Richard Chang, 40, Died in His Home on Birch Court, Possibly Killed by a Stray Rifle Round
The Fulton Square condominiums were the site of New Brunswick's most recent fatal shooting.
Fulton Square condominiums Fulton Square HOA

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Just twelve hours after an early morning shooting took place outside townhouses on Neilsen Street, less than a mile away a 40-year-old contractor was shot and killed in his home by what might have been a rifle, according to police transmissions.

But Richard Chang was not the intended target of the shot that killed him, according to the release.

The quiet townhouse community was once marketed to buyers as a gated community, one of only two in New Brunswick, when it opened in 2008.  But, at some point, the gates were opened for good.

The president of the community's homeowner's association told the Home News Tribune's Suzanne Russell that city officials had informed them that the gates posed a fire hazard.

Oddly, the president asked the Home News Tribune's Suzanne Russell not to print his name.

According to the website for the homeowners association, Richard Capobianco is the president of the "Fulton Square Board of Directors."  Capobianco bought a townhouse in 2009 for $200,000.

Chang bought his condominium at 412 Birch Court for $345,000 in August 2008, according to property records available at MyCentralJersey.com's DataUniverse.  He was married and worked as a contractor.

The shooting incident occured at approximately 3:40pm Friday afternoon according to a press release issued by the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office.

Police transmissions from immediately after the shooting detail the New Brunswick Police Department's response to the fatal shooting.

"Update: Looks like it's a, some type of rifle was used here.  They got rifle rounds recovered here," an unidentified officer says on the recordings, which were first made public this morning by NewBrunswickToday.com.

The recordings also that say a black male fled the scene in a dark-colored Nissan Altima, headed south on Remsen Avenue following the shooting.

A report that aired over the weekend on ABC7 said that frustrated residents have failed to get any response from the community's management company, Midlantic Property Management.

Midlantic is owned by current Middlesex County Freeholder and former Highland Park Mayor H. James Polos.

The Fulton Square condominiums consist of 209 units spread across thirteen three-story buildings.  The private roads in the neighborhood include Hickory and Evergreen Drives, and Birch, Dogwood, Fernwood, and Cedar Courts.

The development was built over several years beginning in 2005 on the site of a former junkyard near the city's border with North Brunswick between Commercial and Remsen Avenues, in what has traditionally been a high-crime area.

The developer, Piscataway-based Edgewood Properties, is owned by Jack Morris, a former business partner of New Brunswick's disgraced former Mayor John Lynch.

The development received a 30-year tax abatement from the city council, as did a Walgreen's retail development Morris began building around the same time at the corner of Jersey Avenue and Handy Street.  The project stalled before being fully completed, but the pharmacy and a strip mall have opened so far.