By ERIN ROLL
Two people are in custody, and one hospitalized in critical condition, following a shooting that took place near Union Gardens apartments today, Oct. 21.
Police were called to the area of Greenwood Place around 2 p.m. on a report of gunshots near the apartments. The caller indicated that one person was wounded and lying in the street, said Police Chief Todd Conforti.
“Responding officers arrived and located the injured subject, a 30-year old male from Montclair, lying in the street suffering from multiple gun shot wounds,” police said.
A person matching a description of the shooter was soon located by police and taken into custody. Another man thought to be involved in the incident was later taken into custody, according to police.
“Witnesses provided police with a description of the fleeing suspect as well as his last direction of flight. An officer responding to the scene observed an individual matching the description of the suspect. This person was detained and is currently in custody. A second individual determined to be involved is currently in custody at this time and charges are pending against this party as well,” police said.
The area encompassing Glenridge Avenue, Claremont Avenue, Forest Street, Greenwood Place, North Willow Street and Walnut Street was closed off, and residents were urged to stay clear of the area. The driveway to the post office on Glenridge Avenue was also closed off.
The Essex County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit was called to the scene to search the area and sewer drains. Two firearms were recovered during the search.
Conforti said the two men are Montclair residents who seem to know each other and the incident stemmed from a dispute. The incident was isolated and there is no danger to the public. Although other reports claim the dispute was drug-related, Conforti would not comment on what led to the shooting.
Witnesses reported hearing four to five shots in the area around 1:57 p.m. and then police and an ambulance responding to the area.
Jose German Gomez who lives in the area said armed police officers were running through yards.
“We heard about five shots very close [to] where I live, but didn’t pay attention until we heard police sirens. Then I saw an ambulance rushing to the hospital followed by police,” he said.
The investigation is ongoing. Conforti said the Montclair Police Department is leading the investigation, with participation from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. Charges are pending, he said.
The injured man was transported to University Hospital in Newark where he is currently listed in critical condition.