FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Two people were killed and a dozen others were wounded in a mass shooting at a New Jersey house party over the weekend.
Gun fire seemed to come from out of nowhere during a birthday party at a home in Fairfield Township on Saturday night, CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported.READ MORE: New York's COVID State Of Emergency Set To Expire Thursday
“They said the fire was coming from the woods. Then, when they went to run to their cars… it seemed like fire was coming that way. This was something set up, like they trapped them in that yard,” said John Fuqua, who was at the party.
Witnesses said they heard some 30 shots as partygoers were panicking, trying to to escape the hail of bullets. They said some jumped over people who were already hit.
“This was not a random act of violence. This was a targeted attack,” said New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal.
Police said the victims are between the ages of 19 and 35. But they would not speculate whether the shooting was the work of gangs.
“One individual has been arrested and we fully anticipate the possibility of additional arrests as this case progresses,” Grewal said.
New Jersey State Police announced they arrested and charged Kevin Dawkins, 36, in connection to the mass shooting.
State Police Announce Arrest and Identify Victims of Shooting in Fairfield TownshipREAD MORE: 'Diaphragm Law' Banning NYPD Officers From Applying Pressure To Suspect's Torso Struck Down
The New Jersey State Police have arrested Kevin Dawkins, 36, of Bridgeton, N.J. in connection to the mass shooting in Fairfield Township, Cumberland County on May 23. https://t.co/amsjJzLnw1 pic.twitter.com/HwGDlQg9bA
— NJSP – State Police (@NJSP) May 24, 2021
“Over the coming days, we’re going have a lot of pieces to put back together. This isn’t the first time, we’ve had a lot of violence in our community,” said Melissa Helmbrecht, founder of Hope Loft.
“This ain’t the best of what we are. This is an example of a black cloud that’s over us right now by a handful of bad apples. But we have to change that,” Fuqua said.
Gov. Phil Murphy said the shooting once again focuses on the need to stop gun violence.
“We are at the point where this kind of horrific scene is almost part of our daily lives. It has become commonplace,” Murphy said. “If there is one thing we can never normalize, it is senseless gun violence.”MORE NEWS: Stamford Police Searching For Driver In Hit-Run That Left Victim Critically Injured
Dawkins is facing weapons charges. The District Attorney said the charges could be upgraded.