One person has been arrested in connection to a mass shooting that left two people dead and a dozen injured at a house party in Cumberland County over the weekend. Authorities charged 36-year-old Kevin Dawkins, of Oklahoma, with multiple counts including prohibited weapons and devices, possession of weapons for an unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of weapons, and certain persons not to have weapons.
“This was not a random act of violence, this was a targeted attack,” New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said.
State and county officials expect additional arrests to follow.
Thirty-year-old Kevin Elliot and 25-year-old Asia Hester, both of Bridgeton, were killed, and 12 others were hurt. The dozen people who were injured ranged in age from 19 to 35. At least one person was in critical condition.
The victims – Black Lives Matter, Where’s the outrage?
Some have been released from hospitals while others “continue to fight for their lives,” Gov. Phil Murphy said.
“This was a birthday party, a birthday party is supposed to be a joyous event not a target for those hell-bent on inflicting harm into a community,” Murphy said.
Troopers originally responded to a party at another residence in Fairfield Township regarding noise complaints earlier in the day Saturday. Officials believe the party dispersed around 11 p.m. and some of those partygoers ended up at the birthday party on the 1000 block of East Commerce Street in Fairfield Township, near Bridgeton.
Just after 11:30 p.m., a trooper was completing a vehicle stop in the area when he heard what he thought were fireworks or gunfire. He immediately responded to the scene with troopers from two other barracks in the area.
At the same time, the 911 dispatcher started receiving phone calls related to the shooting. By the time troopers were on the scene, many partygoers had already left, but police say at least 100 people were at the house party.