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Two City Residents Critically Injured in Second Ward Shooting

NBPD Detectives Investigate Shooting Outside Cibao Grocery on Throop Ave.
Crime scene
Yellow markers on the sidewalk outside Cibao Grocery mark the locations of either bullets or shell casings. Charlie Kratovil

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police are investigating an incident where two people were gunned down outside of a convenience store on Throop Avenue on August 22.

The New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) announced that a 43-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman, both from New Brunswick, had been critically injured in the shooting, which occurred around 9pm.

The man was shot in the lower back and the young woman shot in the chest, according to the statement.

"At this time there is no suspect identity or description," reads the NBPD press release issued the following morning.

Police found the male victim at the scene, while other officers located the female victim in a car seven blocks away, "seated in the backseat of a vehicle."

"Responding units were... flagged down in the area of Livingston Avenue and Handy Street, where they were directed to a second victim," reads the official statement.

According to the release, both victims were taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital where they are in critical condition.

Detectives photographed the crime scene outside Cibao Grocery, a convenience store on the block of Throop Avenue between Delavan and Sandford Streets.  Also on that block, located in the city's Second Ward, is D'Palace Bar.

"That corner is a hot spot 24/7," observed one New Brunswick Today reader.  "I have also spoken to a New Brunswick P.O. who shockingly admitted that 'Funding goes down if there are no crimes, we have to keep a balance.'"

The shooting has sparked renewed calls for change across the city, and on social media.

"It's time for the concerned residents to protest and go to city hall and address this consistent problem!" wrote another longtime community member on Facebook.  "I honestly don't know what has happened to my beloved city!"

Gun violence has been a major problem in cities across the country, with two lives already being taken by guns this year in New Brunswick.

On March 7, a 33-year-old man from Passaic was shot on Drift Street and later died at the hospital.  His alleged killer, a 23-year-old man from New Brunswick was arrested the following day and a murder charge against him was announced on March 16 by prosecutors.

One month later, two Franklin Township police officers shot and killed a 27-year-old man in New Brunswick, allegedly after chasing him on foot across the border between the two towns.  The officers have reportedly returned to active duty, while massive street protests have demanded answers from County Prosecutor Andrew Carey about the case.

According to NBPD crime statistics submitted to the State Police, there were 14 "assaults" with guns reported in the first seven months of this year.

Additionally, there were 31 robberies with guns reported during the same time period.

Both numbers are lower than they were at this point last year, when there had been 20 assaults with guns, and 36 robberies with guns.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Drew Weiss at (732) 745-5217.