FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Caitlin Mota
PHONE: (201) 577-6699
DATE: Tuesday, September 13, 2022
CHARGES WAIVED UP TO SUPERIOR COURT FOR JUVENILES CHARGED IN FATAL SHOOTING OF JERSEY CITY TEEN
Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez has released the following information:
On Friday, September 9, 2022, charges were waived up to the Law Division of the Superior Court for two juveniles in connection with the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Pedro Rodriguez.
Juan Crawford, 18, and Leo Barker, 17, both of Jersey City, are each charged with Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1), a crime of the first degree and Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a(1), a crime of the second degree. Crawford was 17 when the shooting occurred and was arrested and charged as a juvenile on December 27, 2021. Barker was 16 when the shooting occurred and was arrested and charged as a juvenile on March 23, 2022.
On Thursday, December 16, 2021, shortly after 11:45 a.m., the Jersey City Police Department responded to 600 Communipaw Avenue in Jersey City on a report of shots fired. Responding officers found an unresponsive male victim – later identified as Pedro Rodriguez, 16, of Jersey City – with apparent gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene at approximately 12:00 p.m. The Regional Medical Examiner determined the Cause of Death to be Gunshot Wounds and the Manner of Death to be Homicide.
If convicted as adults, Crawford and Barker face up to life in prison. The above charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. R.P.C.3.6(b)(6)