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19-Year-Old Man Shot Dead in City's First Murder of 2013

Eduardo Mendez Died of Gunshot Wound Sufferred on Sidewalk at 236 Talmadge Street
Mendez Memorial
A vigil for Eduardo Mendez, shot dead on Talmadge Street shortly after 8pm on Saturday. Facebook

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Eduardo "Snoopy" Mendez, 19, was gunned down on the sidewalk in front of 236 Talmadge St. last Saturday night, between Livingston and Lee Avenues.

Neighbors, including a former police lieutenant, told the Newark Star-Ledger they were shocked that someone was killed on their block, which was usually quiet and peaceful.

Mendez may have been a member of MS-13, a gang that has a strong presence in New Jersey.  He claimed to be employed by the gang on his Facebook page, which also identified Mendez as a resident of Plainfield, NJ, and originally from Miami, Florida.

Reporters said that they could see investigators looking around in the grass in the front lawn on home, taking pictures of a bicycle, lying on its side, in the sidewalk.

According to police radio transmissions, which were made public today by NewBrunswickToday.com, a witness first described the suspect as a "Hispanic male running towards Livingston Ave."

Then, new information led police to search for a "white shirt and grey shirt on Livingston Avenue... towards Sanford Street, two Hispanic males."

A dispatcher gave more information to police in the area two minutes after the shooting was first reported.

"One of my callers said it was a Hispanic male with a red shirt, possibly one of the suspects.

Authorities then began looking for a green Honda that might have transported the suspects away from the scene, but eventually disregarded that and concluded the suspects fled on foot.

A cab driver then called to describe a "Hispanic male wearing a blue baseball cap, possibly blue shirt, heading towards Livingston.

More than eight minutes after police first learned of the shooting, an officer again amends the description of suspect.

"I got another description of the suspect.  It's a young black male, about 5'6",  wearing a blue and white striped shirt and a blue fitted cap."

Local police declined to comment at yesterday's City Council meeting, deferring to Middlesex County Acting Prosecutor Andrew Carey, who was not present.

Carey said, in a statement on Sunday night, that Mendez was seen outside a Talmadge Street house at 8:11 pm last Saturday, and that he was pronounced dead at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital by 8:49 pm. 

The Middlesex County Medical Examiner's office performed an autopsy, but the results were not immediately available, according to Patch.com.  Brandt Gregus, a detective of the New Brunswick police, and Scott Crocco, an investigator from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office, are investigating the crime. 

The house where the crime occurred is for sale, and was listed with Century 21 realtors. The listing was removed Monday, according to Zillow.com.