Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Riverside Township Police Chief William T. Eliason announced that two Philadelphia men and a New Jersey juvenile have been charged with Attempted Murder in connection with a shooting in Riverside Township earlier this year.
Antonio Rivera, 18, of Neilson Street, Billy Pirela, 22, of Eastwood Street, and a teenage female were charged with Attempted Murder (First Degree), Conspiracy to Commit Murder (First Degree), Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Second Degree) and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Second Degree).
Rivera was arrested May 18 in Brick Township by the U.S. Marshals Service NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force. The juvenile, whose information is being withheld because of her age, was arrested that same day at her school by Riverside police.
Rivera was lodged in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly, while the juvenile was taken to the Middlesex County Juvenile Detention Center.
Pirela has not been apprehended and is considered a fugitive. Anyone with information as to his whereabouts is asked to call Burlington County Central Communications at 609-265-7113, send an anonymous tip at https://riversidepolicenj.org/tip-411/, or an email to email@example.com.
The investigation began March 4, when officers from the Riverside Township Police Department were called to the 300 block of Fairview Street for a report of a man who had been struck by gunfire. The investigation revealed that the victim, a 23-year-old Pennsylvania man who was staying with an acquaintance, was shot while walking on Rush Street but was able to make his way back to the residence. The investigation further revealed that Rivera, Pirela and the juvenile were traveling on Rush Street when a shot came from their vehicle, striking the victim in the back.
The victim has recovered from the shooting. The motive continues to be investigated.
The case is being investigated by detectives from the Riverside Township Police Department and the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, with assistance from the Palmyra Borough Police Department. The lead investigators are RTPD Detective Kevin Joo and BCPO Detective Jenn Marchese. The defendants will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Jamie Hutchinson.
All persons are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.