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UPDATE (5:39PM): This article has been updated to include the identities of the victims and additional information about the incidents.
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Summertime is usually quiet in the city’s Sixth Ward neighborhood, a unique area that is typically dominated by college student renters during the rest of the year.
But last night was an exception to that rule, as an overcrowded party led to numerous fights breaking out, including one where two people were hit with gunfire shortly near the intersection of Hamilton and Guiden Streets.
An hour prior, at about 11:24pm, local police broke the enormous party at 45 Robinson Street, unleashing hundreds of young men and women, who were left wandering into the neighborhood.
“Upon their arrival officers observed in excess of 500 people in the streets stemming from a house party at a Robinson Street residence,” reads the NBPD’s press release. “Several of the individuals were rowdy and disorderly and fights within the crowd were observed.”
The Police Department said the initial investigation showed that the house party was advertised on Facebook by the resident of the Robinson Street address.
“The ease and availability of social media access led to the large number of people showing up at the posted address,” read the press release.
” I caution our residents about advertising parties and events on social media sites, particularly when the announcement can be viewed by the general public.” said NBPD Director Anthony Caputo.
Unlike most house party or noise violation calls, dispatchers requested “all units” respond to the scene at Robinson Street shortly.
For the next hour, New Brunswick and Rutgers University police officers attempted to disperse the large crowds that gathered at corners and in public areas along Central Avenue and Hamilton Street.
As hordes of partiers fanned out into the neighborhood, even neighboring Franklin Township was notified.
According to police radio transmissions, at about 12:30am, a New Brunswick police officer declared that Robinson Street had been cleared up and asked the dispatcher to thank both the Franklin and Rutgers for their assistance.
But violence erupted just minutes later at the intersection of Hamilton Street and Guilden Street, where a physical fight evenutally resulted in gunshots being fired.
“In this incident, the victims reporting walking on Hamilton Street when they were approached by another group of individuals,” reads a crime alert issued by Rutgers University Police. “During this encounter, two of the individuals reported being shot by unknown perpetrator(s) for reasons which are not yet known.”
19-year-old Marceus Dalins, of Irvington, was shot multiple times in the leg, arm, finger, and abdomen, according to police.
Police would later discover a second man, 20-year-old Bobby Mack, of Hillside, had been shot in the hip during the same incident. Both victims were taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, whose emergency room entrance is just two blocks away from the scene.
“Both victims refused to cooperate with investigating detectives,” reads the official NBPD press release on the series of incidents.
Witnesses described the incident as frightening in a thread on the Rutgers Reddit website.
“My girlfriend and I were walking up the street and heard 3 pops, then a black car flew around the corner and almost hit a kid crossing the street,” reads one comment posted last night.
“Next thing I see is a young guy crumple to the ground in the road, his friends surrounding him.”
At one point, a police dispatcher told officers that an anonymous caller had reported the shooting suspect was a male with a gun and no shirt, who proceeded on foot towards Hartwell Street.
Shortly thereafter, a NBPD officer captured 18-year-old Cappri Crabbe, of Somerville, following a footchase that ended on Plum Street near Hamilton Street.
Police are now saying that Crabbe was also involved in the fight that led to Dalins and Mack being shot. He is charged with Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana with the Intent to Distribute, and Resisting Arrest, according to the official statement.
“The identity(s) of the shooter is still under investigation,” reads the statement.
Earlier this year, a Plum Street resident was arrested and charged with murder in the case of a former Rutgers student whose body was found in a Hartwell Street backyard in February.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick.