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Essex Street Residents Say Multiple Shots Fired at Victim; Authorities Slow to Release Information


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The shooting in Gloucester City happened on the 300-unit block of Essex Street inside the circle across from the auto dealer which is located on the right in the photo (see arrow). The time of the shooting was approximately 8:30 PM. According to several people who live in the same area they heard multiple shots being fired.  ( photo)


William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNews


GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (July 11, 2021)--The suspect involved in the shooting in Gloucester City Saturday night on the 300 unit block of Essex Street hasn't been arrested, according to the Camden County Prosecutors Office (CCPO).


Brian Morrell, Gloucester City Police Chief/City Administrator, said,  "The last update is the victim is in stable condition. A suspect has been identified. All other information will be released by the Camden County Prosecutors Office."


Asked long-time residents of the city about a shooting happening in this little community of 11,000 people, located on the banks of the Delaware River, and most will tell you that they can't remember any.  But, a Google search for that question reveals the last shooting was 10 years ago on May 1, 2011.


From the CNBNews May 1, 2011 report:


"On May 1, 2011 at 12:49 a.m. officers were dispatched to the 300 block of Middlesex Street for a report of a male who had been shot.  Upon arrival officers located the victim, Andrew Stosny, age 19, a resident of Glendora.  He had been shot once in the upper chest and was transported to Cooper Hospital where he is currently listed in stable condition. 

The suspect is Robert G. Figueroa, age 19, a resident of Camden.  He fled the scene prior to police arrival.  The weapon used in the shooting was located in a rear yard of a residence in the 300 block of Middlesex Street, through which Figueroa was seen fleeing.  Warrants have been issued for Figueroa and officers are currently searching for the suspect in the Fairview section of Camden based on information gathered by detectives.  


Wanting to know more about Saturday's crime we visited the Essex Street area and talked with neighbors of that block about it. None of them wanted us to use their names. We have given them made-up names so those who read the interview with them are not confused 


Joe said he was a few feet from where it happened. "I was having a beer with my friends and I hear a loud pop pop pop. I picked up my five-year-old son and we ran back towards our home away from the sound. Asked if there were rapid shots and he said yes. A person on a social media site said 15 shell casings were found at the scene, but that hasn't been confirmed. 


Jack, the other man said, "When I first heard the loud pop pop pop noise I thought it was firecrackers going off. I was inside a house helping the owner paint a room. But I soon realized it was gunshots." He said it was just getting dark when the shooting happened. "I would guess it was around 8: 30 PM."


All three individuals were asked if they thought the sound was coming from a small-caliber handgun like a  22 cal or a 9mm handgun. 


"It was definitely a 9mm Mary said. I lived in Camden and I know what a 9mm sounds like and that is what it was."


For decades Camden City has been a mecca for gun violence and illegal drug sales.  "It wouldn't be unusual for anyone who ever lived in a high crime area like Camden to know what a 9mm sounded like," said a retired Camden City Police Officer we spoke with.


Mary said, "I moved from Camden to Fairview to get away from this violence. Fairview got so bad I moved from there to Gloucester City. If these shootings continue I will pack up again but to where I will go I haven't given it much thought," she said.  


Mary said there were two people shot but one of the other neighbors disagreed with her. 


"There were two people hit by gunshots last night, one was killed."


Joe disagreed. "No, there was only one." 


"I stood over there and I could plainly see a body covered over with a white sheet laying on the sidewalk, she said.  "All those years living in Camden and Fairview I watched these young kids with guns shooting and killing people. They are young teenagers, who don't give a damn about life and death. Look at them crosseyed and they will shoot you without hesitation. I won't talk with the cops for that reason. They can't protect you," Mary said. 


Asked if they saw anything happening in the neighborhood prior to the shooting that "would lead any of you to believe something like this was going to happened", and they said no. 


Alex McVeigh, the spokesperson for the CCPO, basically reiterated what Morrell said earlier today.  "At approximately 8:30 pm on the 300 block of Essex Street one male was shot multiple times.  The victim is in stable condition. "


In a follow-up email, we asked McVeigh for further explanation.


What kind of gun was used?


The age of the victim? 


His nationally?


How many casings found at the scene?


Do you have any plans to release the name of the shooter and his mug shot?


Video of gunshot sounds...





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