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5th Suspect Arrested in September's Murder of College Student Joshua Zhou

Fugitive Zaid Joseph Captured By US Marshalls in a Bronx Apartment
Zaid Joseph Mugshot
Zaid Joseph was arrested on March 27 and charged with the murder of Joshua Zhou, six months earlier in New Brunswick. Middlesex Co. Prosecutor's Office

BRONX, NY—The U.S. Marshals arrested a 21-year-old man from South Brunswick in connection with the murder of a 19-year-old community college student in a basement on Robinson Street, in New Brunswick's sixth ward.

Zaid Joseph of South Brunswick was the fifth person charged with felony murder in the fatal shooting Joshua Zhou, a Somerset resident who was a guest in the home of close friends in the college neighborhood.  Zhou was taken to nearby Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital where he was pronounced dead an hour later.

The murder took place at 44 Robinson Street on September 27, in the heart of a student-dominated part of the city.

Joseph was apprehended by marshals last Wednesday in an apartment he had been staying at in the Bronx, according to Middlesex Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan and director of the New Brunswick Police Director Anthony Caputo.

The five men were identified and charged during the investigation lead by Detective Kenneth Abode of the New Brunswick Police Department and Investigator Scott Crocco of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.

The investigation determined that Zhou was targeted and the shooting was not random.  Investigators say that five men between the ages of 19 and 21 conspired to rob Zhou.  As we reported in October, neighbors told us they believed that drugs and gangs played a role in the shooting.

Joseph is charged in an indictment with murder, conspiracy, armed robbery, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, along with two men from New Brunswick and two men from the Somerset section of Franklin Township.

Dawonne Cooper, 22, was arrested several blocks away from the scene of the crime shortly after police responded to the shooting.  The other three, Michael Bailey, Jeffrey Cook, and Larry Pena were either captured or surrendered, and are facing the same charges.

The men remain in custody while they are awaiting trial.  No trial date has been announced.

Prosecutor Kaplan thanked the U.S. Marshals Service Regional Fugitive Task Force for its effort to locate and apprehend Joseph.

A statement from the prosecutor's office released earlier today said that the investigation is active and continuing.  Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Detective Abode of the New Brunswick Police Department at (732) 745-5200 or Investigator Crocco of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4471.