Two men from Woodland Park and Paterson were wounded in an early Sunday morning shooting on Montclair Avenue, according to police. A possible third victim from the incident sought treatment at a Bergen County hospital.
A 34-year-old Woodland Park man was wounded in the leg and a 37-year-old Paterson man suffered a gunshot wound to the torso, according to police.
Police were called to a fight and possible shots fired in the area of Montclair Avenue and Paxton Street at around 5:10 a.m. The fight was called in inside the Montclair Deli. The wounded 34-year-old victim was found on Montclair and Paxton Street and the 37-year-old man was located on Montclair Avenue and Main Street.
Both victims were taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center for treatment. A short time later, police received information that a 33-year-old man with a gunshot wound arrived at the Hackensack University Medical Center for treatment.
“At this time, the investigation as to what occurred is ongoing,” captain Patrick Murray, head of the Ceasefire Unit, said. “Detectives are also investigating to determine whether the victim who arrived at Hackensack Medical Center is related to this incident.”
The shooting surprised some neighborhood residents. “In this area, yes,” said Jermaine, who did not wish to provide his last name. “This is a very Muslim populated area.” He lives a block away from Montclair Deli, a 24-hour grocery store and grill, where the fight was reported. He was outside throwing a football with his elementary school age son on Sunday afternoon.
Jermaine said his son woke up to sounds of gunshots. He said the son thought the gunfire was firecrackers. He said he has not experienced anything like this in the past two years he and his family have been living in the quiet area of the South Paterson neighborhood.
“We haven’t had an incident of this nature since we shut down the Lava Lounge,” said Andre Sayegh, 6th Ward councilman, who represents the area. He said he has been re-assuring nervous neighborhood residents.
Sayegh is interested in speaking to the owner of the grocery store and grill to discuss whether it makes sense to remain open 24 hours a day given the insurance liability an incident like this could result for a business.
The owner of the business was working at the establishment when the incident occurred, according to an employee. The employee of the business said the owner was not at the store on Sunday afternoon. The store’s 24-hour operation has not created disturbances or problems for neighbors, said Jermaine.
“As you can see we have cameras everywhere,” said Jermaine. He said the establishment also has cameras.
Police director Jerry Speziale said detectives are working to piece together the incident. The incident may have spilled over from a party that occurred in Passaic City, according to law enforcement sources.
Police are asking anyone with information to contact detectives Michael Quinones or Ricardo Ferreira of the Ceasefire Unit at 973-321-1342. Anonymously send information via PatersonPD.com.
Jay Rahman contributed to reporting.