An 18-year-old city resident and a 25-year-old Carlstadt man were wounded late Friday afternoon in a shooting on 10th Avenue, according to the Paterson Police Department.
The victims were congregating on 10th Avenue between East 19th Street and Madison Avenue at around 4:45 p.m. on Friday, when shots were fired.
“At this time, it appears that the victims were part of a larger group congregated in front of a store on 10 Avenue, when several gunshots were fired,” Patrick Murray, head of the Ceasefire Unit, said. “As a result of the gunfire, both victims attempted to flee the area on foot, realizing that they were shot as they fled.”
Both victims were shot in the lower leg, police said. Police arrived on the scene, but were not able to locate any victims – within minutes alerts came from St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center that two gunshot victims came into the trauma center by private vehicle.
The 18-year-old was transported by a relative and the 25-year-old hailed a cab to the hospital.
One of the gunshot victim was out on bracelet from a previous gun charge. The bullet struck the bracelet which caught on fire and at the hospital sheriff’s officers had to change the victim’s ankle bracelet.
Both victims are in stable condition at the hospital, according to police.
“It’s extremely frustrating for us that somebody is out on weapons charge and here we go again. Today’s victim becomes tomorrow’s shooter. And tomorrow’s shooter become today’s victim. And that’s what has become the problem,” said police director Jerry Speziale.
Speziale expressed great frustration at the criminal justice’s revolving door. He mentioned an incident earlier in the week where a police officer was injured attempting to stop four suspicious individuals – one of whom had three previous gun charges — inside a Park Avenue cellphone store.
Veteran police officer Jaime Mejia was injured when one of them rushed the door. However, Mejia and others arrested three of the suspects, including the alleged gunman, recovering a handgun.
“We need a better system. We need to do something about it,” said Speziale. He said law enforcement officials have to come together to devise a system that would address this problem.
Anyone with information is being asked to contact Ceasefire detective Rolando Polio or Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office detective Michael Boone at (973) 321-1342.
Jay Rahman contributed to this report.