2 dead, 12 injured in shooting at New Jersey house party

National and World News

FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — A family house party in South Jersey turned into a crime scene where at least two people were fatally shot and 12 others were wounded, state police said.

Authorities arrived at the house in Fairfield Township, about an hour outside of Philadelphia, late Saturday night. A resident who runs a local anti-violence organization said he was called out to assist families at the 90s-themed party. John Fuqua, of Life Worth Living, said guests who attended the party were of all ages.

New Jersey State police said a 30-year-old man and 25-year-old-woman were fatally shot. There were 12 other people who were injured and transported to local hospitals.

No arrests have been made.

Photos show overturned pop-up party tents, tables and chairs, and debris throughout the home’s yard. A long driveway was still filled with cars late Sunday morning.

Two cousins who live in the area of the shooting said they heard music from the party until after midnight, then a series of shots — at least 15 of them over a few minutes.

Joeron Pierce and James Pierce, who live in homes next to each other, said that there was chaos after that. Partygoers ran through their yards and asked to come into their houses. They said cars ran into one other trying to speed away.

Fairfield Township Mayor Benjamin Byrd Sr., who was at the scene Sunday, said that New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy offered his support and help.

“Nobody knows when someone’s going to come out of the woods with a gun,” Byrd said. He did not have any details about the shooting.

Murphy called the shooting “horrific.”

“This despicable and cowardly act of gun violence only steels our commitment to ensuring New Jersey leads the nation in passing and enforcing strong and commonsense gun safety laws,” Murphy said in a statement. “No community should ever experience what occurred last night in Fairfield.”

WPVI-TV reported that the reverend of a nearby church heard the gunfire.

“I just started hearing at first what I thought was fireworks, it was really gunshots, and I heard nine in rapid succession,” said the Rev. Michael Keene of the Trinity AME Church.

Messages seeking additional information have been left with multiple organizations.

Gov. Phil Murphy said hundreds of people were at the party. He released a statement Sunday morning calling the mass shooting “horrific.”

At this time, at least two people have lost their lives, among numerous other shooting victims, including several with injuries that are life-threatening. We hold those who have died, and their families, in our prayers today, and we also pray for the recoveries of those injured. We are grateful for the swift response of law enforcement and stand with them as they continue their investigation.

Let there be no mistake: This despicable and cowardly act of gun violence only steels our commitment to ensuring New Jersey leads the nation in passing and enforcing strong and common sense gun safety laws. No community should ever experience what occurred last night in Fairfield.

Gov. Phil Murphy

Anyone with information is asked to contact the New Jersey State Police Bridgeton Station at 856-451-0101 or submit a tip via the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office tips website. Anonymous tips are welcome.

State police scheduled a press conference for Monday morning.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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