Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced today that an arrest has been made in the fatal shooting of a 17 year-old last week in Jersey City.
On Tuesday, April 26, 2016, shortly before 5:00 p.m., Jersey City Police Officers were on patrol when they noticed a large group in the area of 176-178 Fulton Avenue in Jersey City. The group pointed out that an individual was shot in the head. Officers observed the victim, later identified as Rondell J. Rush, age 17, of Jersey City, being placed in a vehicle, which took off from police with individuals stating they had to get him to a hospital. The vehicle was stopped by police a short distance later at 225 Martin Luther King Drive. The victim was then transported by ambulance to the Jersey City Medical Center with an apparent gunshot wound to his head. The victim was later pronounced dead on Wednesday, April 27, 2016, at approximately 1:38 p.m.
On Saturday, April 30, 2016, a 16 year-old male from Jersey City was arrested at a relative’s home and charged in connection with the fatal shooting. Due to his age, the 16 year old was charged as a juvenile with a delinquent act, which if committed by an adult would constitute Murder as defined by N.J.S. 2C:11-3. He was remanded to the Union County Detention Center, where is he is being held. Prosecutor Suarez stated she would seek to have the case transferred from Family Court and have the juvenile tried as an adult. Due to confidentiality in juvenile cases, no further information or details can be provided.
“Taking someone’s life in a criminal act is murder regardless of age. My office is prepared to use every prosecutorial tool available to charge this juvenile as an adult,” said Prosecutor Suarez. “Working with federal, state, and local law enforcement, we will continue to fight to get guns off our streets and out of the hands of criminals.”
“When we have juveniles committing violent crimes with guns, it really speaks to broader gaps in society, including parenting, education, and of course the issue of how juveniles get access to guns that come from across state borders. While I am satisfied that the Prosecutor and the JCPD found the shooter, the reality is that there are no positives here but rather just reinforcement of the challenges we face,” said Mayor Steven Fulop.
Prosecutor Suarez credited the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Unit, who led the investigation. Prosecutor Suarez also credited the Jersey City Police Department’s South District Plain Clothes Unit and Emergency Services Unit under the leadership of Chief Philip Zacche, who assisted in apprehending the juvenile.
The above charges are merely accusations, and the juvenile is presumed innocent until proven guilty. R.P.C. 3.6(b)(6).