Fairfield, NJ-A search for a gunman who fired at a crowded house party, killed two and injured another 12, shocking a quiet rural community 50 miles south of Philadelphia. It was in progress on Sunday.
State police, who were called to the scene shortly before midnight on Saturday, said they had arrived to find the bodies of a 30-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman. Police said one of the injured party participants was hospitalized in danger. statement..
On Sunday, police with a dog were patrolling the vast grounds. Investigators wiped the lawn in the front yard with a metal detector. Law enforcement officers could also be seen trying to open a locked car on the property driveway.
Fairfield Township Mayor Benjamin Bird Sr. was on the scene and tents and chairs were knocked down around the yard. Mr Bird said there was little information about the shooting.
“No one knows when someone will come out of the forest with a gun,” Bird said.
John Fuqua said NBC10 The family was attending a party and his nephew had to run to hide when a bullet rang from the woods.
“My nephew had a good time, and the next thing I heard was shooting and he said he was running hard. He had to crawl after landing on the ground and stepping over the corpse.”
An aerial photograph of the scene showed a large tree-covered house with debris scattered around it. Governor Phil Murphy, who said the party had attracted hundreds of people, described the case as a “horrible mass shooting.”
“The community shouldn’t experience what happened at Fairfield last night,” he said. “We encourage anyone who has the information to move forward, so that the person in charge can be brought to justice.”
Fairfield is a South Jersey community of about 6,000 people on the Delaware River. The shooting is under investigation by New Jersey State Police, Cumberland County, and local law enforcement agencies.
A church minister opposite the shooting site heard the gunshot. Pastor Michael Keane of the Trinity AME Church said he heard a sound that sounded like fireworks before he realized that the fireworks were gunshots.
“Why do you need to bring a gun if you go to a party?” Keane said. WPVI-TV.. “If you’re there to have a good time, why do you need a gun with you? That means you’re anticipating trouble.”
Community leaders say the rally was a 90’s-themed birthday party, mostly attended by hundreds of young people. Melissa Helmbrecht of the HopeLoft Community Center told the television station that the community had many challenges and “we experienced many tragedy.” She said some members of the community center were at the party.
“I’m just worried about our friends, our family, our employees. In the next few days we’ll have a lot of pieces to bring back together.” She said.
Murphy said the investigation was underway and the person responsible would be brought to justice.
“Let’s make no mistake. This sneaky and timid gun violence guarantees that New Jersey will lead the country by passing and enforcing powerful and common-sense gun safety legislation. It just strengthens our commitment. “
Bacon reported from Arlington, Virginia.
This article was originally published in USA TODAY: A rampage at a New Jersey house party kills two and injures 12