UPDATE (7:45PM): City police announced that they apprehended Cruz Bruno-Rioz, who had been identified by “several witnesses” as a suspect in the shooting, shortly after the incident.
This article has been updated to reflect the NBPD’s statement, which also indicated that the shooting actually happened inside a barbershop near the intersection of French and Bayard Streets.
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—One man was shot in the leg on February 23 and several others were arrested after six people were reportedly fighting at the intersection of Bayard and French Streets at around 6:30am on February 23.
The shooting victim showed up at nearby Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and New Brunswick police asked for backup to control the crime scene and photograph a gun that was recovered.
Police proactively called both Robert Wood Johnson and St. Peter’s hospitals looking for the victim, according to police radio transmisssions.
By 7:49am, two city police officers were standing guard over three different prisoners inside the hospital.
The New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) announced later in the day that the shooting had occurred inside a barber shop located at 210 New Street, though most think of that particular building as being on Bayard Street.
Bayard, New, and French Streets all converge about 100 feet away from the building, which also includes a travel agency and tax preparer business.
Shortly after the shooting, police arrested 29-year-old city resident Cruz Bruno-Ruiz at his vehicle parked on Bayard Street and recovered a handgun from the front seat. Police also found Bruno-Ruiz to be “in possession of a distributable amount of cocaine and a large amount of cash.”
Bruno-Ruiz has been charged with Attempted Murder, Unlawful Possession of a Handgun, Possession of a Handgun for an Unlawful Purpose, Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Cocaine with the Intent to Distribute, and Possession of Cocaine with the Intent to Distribute in a School Zone.
“Detectives recovered video surveillance from inside the barber shop which shows [the victim] Gerardo Moreno, Cruz Bruno-Ruiz, and others, drinking together inside the barber shop just prior to the shooting,” reads the city press release.
The scene of the crime is on the outskirts of the city’s downtown, very close to the Health Sciences Technology High School, and just a block from Rutgers University’s Institute For Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research.
Rutgers University did not yet issue a crime alert about the incident, despite the proximity to campus.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Drew Weiss at (732) 745-5217.
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, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.