Police Kill N.J. Man Who Shoots 3 Sons, 2 Fatally

PENNSAUKEN, N.J. (AP) — A man shot his three sons, fatally wounding two and critically injuring the third, and set their tidy southern New Jersey home afire before police killed him, authorities said Friday.

Police started receiving calls shortly after 10:30 p.m. Thursday when two young men were found on different streets near the home in Pennsauken, said Jason Laughlin, a spokesman for the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office. A house fire was reported a short time later.

Authorities initially didn’t know whether the fire was connected to the shootings, Laughlin said. When police arrived at the split-level brick home, a man in a sun room who was holding a lighter, a can of gasoline and a handgun charged at three officers, he said.

The man was shot and killed. Laughlin said it wasn’t clear how many officers fired at the gunman, who was identified as 54-year-old Alfred Moton Sr.

The body of Moton’s 12-year-old son Steven, was found in the house, while his 16- and 18-year-old sons were found on the street, Laughlin said. The 18-year-old, Aflred Moton Jr., who had just started his first term at Rowan University in Glassboro, where he was a biology major and commuter student, was later pronounced dead.

The 16-year-old, Charles Moton, said by those who knew him to be a student at Camden Catholic High School was in critical but stable condition at Cooper University Hosptial in Camden.

The younger boy, Steven Moton, was a student at St. Stephen’s Roman Catholic school, two blocks away from the home.

A parent of a St. Stephen’s student, Jessie Burgos, said the school’s regularly monthly Mass on Friday morning was dedicated to the boy, whose two older brothers also had attended the school.

She said students cried as they were told that a peer was dead.

Later, principal Patricia Higgins would say only, “The family has our sympathy and our prayers.”

Burgos parked half a block from the burned-out Moton home on Friday. Though she didn’t know the family, she’d brought a candle to place in front of the house.

But crime-tape extended around several nearby houses, and she could not find a place to leave her small memorial.

Authorities said they were trying to determine a motive for the killing, which happened while the mother of the victims was working the night shift at a hospital.

Neighbor Jim Nesmith, who lived two houses from the Motons, said the family was the one on the well-kept block of mid-20th century homes that didn’t interact much with the others.

Nesmith, 73, said he had watched the children play in the yard and come and go from school over the years, though.

“I just couldn’t image something like that happening,” he said. “They had all their life in front of them.”

An elderly man was in the badly burned home, but Laughlin said he was not seriously injured.

The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office is reviewing the shooting by police under its standard policy.

Pennsauken is a town of about 35,000 people, just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  • marcus PA

    As a kid I looked up to Alfred…he was my older cousin…I don’t know what happened to him…what would drive him to do this horrible thing! He stopped speaking to the rest of his relatives over 20 years ago so I never had the chance to even meet or get to know his sons. My heart and prayes are with the mother and Charles Moton.

  • ANT-Pennsauken, NJ

    Our area needs prayer, so please pray for teh Moton family as they go through this difficult time and reach out to them in love, if possible. Be Blessed.

  • DanTe

    The guy’s just proving that it’s never too late to abort his mistakes. Leave the poor guy be. He’s just cleaning up the gene pool that he infested.

  • Dee Tran

    IT might cause from lacking of communication between Dad and chidren

  • mister sherif

    divorce industry ahahahaha

  • lmwilker

    You know, in my 28 years of married life neither I nor my husband have ever been targeted by “the divorce industry.”

  • george

    The biggest tragedy is that 50% of all families are driven to rediculous levels of anger, frustration and madness by the divorce industry which profits by destroying families

    • jcl

      George, the divorce industry? Is this something you made in you your ignorant head. There is no such thing… Some people just have emotional problems and can not handle life’s stresses… Just another example of innocent people dying from someone with problems…

      • Help Others

        George isn’t ignorant. He’s right, there is a divorce industry and if you ever filed for divorce or had a contested divorce, only then could you understand. So laugh at him all you want but he is correct despite the fact this may not be the right forum to discuss those matters. Anyway, regarding this incident. it is really a terrible tragedy to harm those innocent kids. If anything can be gained by such a senseless act, I think a good place to start is to pay attention to the people you live with, are married to, your children, your parents, your friends and co-workers and if you sense something is out of place…… Try to help.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live