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UPDATE (3/16): New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) confirmed they arrested Isaiah Colon, an 18-year-old man from Somerset, Irvoan Evans, a 21-year-old man from Wilson, North Carolina, and a 16-year-old boy from Newark who was not named.
They say they recovered two “airsoft guns” from the suspects’ vehicle, which was defined in a police press release as “a handgun which fires projectiles similar to BB’s by way of compressed gas.”
All three were charged with Aggravated Assault, Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Assault, Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, and Eluding.
“Detectives investigating this case have since identified other victims who claim to have been shot earlier that evening and additional charges are expected,” reads a NBPD press release. “None of the injuries sustained from the gun shots were life-threatening.”
Anyone with information regarding these incidents is asked to call Detective Brandon Epstein at (732) 745-5217.
Rutgers University has not issued a crime alert regarding the incident, despite the proximity to the campus.
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—At least two different people reported drive-by shootings involving an airsoft gun in the same neighborhood shortly after midnight on Sunday, March 15.
Both incidents happened in the student-dominated Sixth Ward of the city, and after police witnessed a cyclist being targeted in a third shooting, they chased the suspect’s vehicle to a dead end on New York Avenue, near Buccleuch Park.
Police arrested the occupants, and impounded their vehicle, a silver Honda with temporary plates issued in North Carolina.
The first shooting call came in to police headquarters around 12:23am.
“Head over to the area of Hamilton Street and Louis Street,” said a dispatcher, according to police radio transmissions. “Caller states that a four-door sedan with three occupants shot a BB gun at him multiple times, left the scene laughing, heading towards Dix Street.”
Just over a half-hour later, another incident had been reported.
“Head over to Easton and Central for a caller that states his friend got hit in the face with either an Airsoft gun or a BB gun while walking,” said a dispatcher at 12:57am.
It’s not the first time this year that police investigated a drive-by shooting with something other than a regular firearm.
On February 9, a Rutgers student told police he had been shot in the leg with a pellet from an airsoft gun.
The victim believed that the shot came from a moving vehicle. Police did not announce any arrests in that case, which was investigated as an “aggravated assault.”
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.