NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–Two young men were shot in the parking lot of a supermarket on August 31 at approximately 11:15 am according to a press release from the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD).
While the suspects fled on foot, the victims fled the scene as well, apparently in a vehicle that ended up crashing just a stone's throw away from the entrance to a hospital emergency room.
It's at least the second shooting to take place in the supermarket parking lot in the past year.
As we reported, two nearby public schools were put under a "lockout" last September when shots rang out in the lot, and two men were later arrested for shooting at each other.
"Aldi's and McDonald's are hot spots," observed one resident of the neighboring Schwartz Homes public housing neighborhood. The nearby McDonald's on Somerset Street saw its windows shattered by gunfire in January.
Police confirmed that the building that houses the main offices of the New Brunswick Housing Authority (NBHA) was struck with a stray bullet in the incident.
Multiple sources have told NBToday that the victims were in a vehicle that crashed into a pole, downing a traffic light shortly thereafter on their way to St. Peter's University Hospital.
One reader said that the vehicle involved in the one-car crash "was definitely coming from that area while [eluding] police when they almost smashed into us at the Easton Ave/Little Albany intersection."
"They went into oncoming traffic and cut through the exit to Little Albany and narrowly missed vehicles and pedestrians."
Another reader sent us a picture showing police aggressively searching the vehicle.
Yet another source said one person in the vehicle got out of the car saying "I'm shot. I'm shot" before being directed to the hospital's emergency room, located across the street less than 200 feet from the scene of the crash.
But, still, NBPD Capatain JT Miller declined to confirm whether or not the crash had anything to do with the shooting.
His press release confirmed that the victims were treated at St. Peter's, instead of the city's other major hospital, where a shooting victim would typically be taken by default.
The official NBPD statement did not say how many times the victims were shot, or identify them beyond saying they were men from New Brunswick, ages 21 and 29.
The release also did not state what condition the victims were in, only that their injuries were "non-life threatening injuries."
The NBPD statement was issued on September 1, just hours after the story was first reported on the New Brunswick Today Show, and gave the incorrect address for the supermarket.
The supermarket is located at 6 Van Dyke Avenue, not 7 Van Dyke Avenue, as reported by the police. It opened at the corner of Van Dyke Avenue and Somerset Street in 2010.
The building at 7 Van Dyke Avenue, which serves as the headquarters of the embattled NBHA, was also struck with gunfire, but the NBPD press release did not mention that.
According to the release the suspects were described as a "black male wearing a black t-shirt, black shorts and black and white sneakers," and "a black male wearing a blue shirt."
"The preliminary investigation suggests that this was a targeted act and not a random act of violence," reads the NBPD press release.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Drew Weiss or Detective Erika DiMarcello 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 and a community organizer, and an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick.