Community raises funds to cover funeral expenses for Asbury Park shooting victim
Days after a 24-year-old star athlete was gunned down Sunday in Asbury Park, members of the community have taken steps to raise money for the grieving family, while also calling on local officials to repair surveillance cameras that they say could have recorded the shooting had they been working.
A GoFundMe page was created on Dec. 22, and according to the page, the money will be used to help the family pay for funeral expenses. As of Wednesday, donations totaling $2,485 had been raised. The goal of the fundraiser is $10,000.
Imesha Harris, Small's cousin, started the page at the family's request. She said it's not only a way to raise money, but will offer a "way for friend's of Jamar and many others to show their love and support by helping cover funeral cost."
"All funds received will go directly to Lucy Small, Jamar's mother," Harris told NJ 101.5.
At least 56 people have made donations through the page and have left numerous messages for the family.
"I am so sorry for your loss!! So very sad to lose such a wonderful young man. Prayers to your family and the community," one contributor said.
Another expressed condolences saying "you're gonna always be with us Jamar ...prayers go out to the family, stay strong."
Small was an Asbury Park native and his brother, Tykreek, were leaving a Summerfield Avenue house on Sunday afternoon when a shooter opened fire on the car in which they were riding. Small was pronounced dead. His brother was transported to a local hospital where he was treated and later released.
In the days following the tragedy, family members, along with the National Action Network released a statement expressing concern that the surveillance cameras have failed to record activity all over the city. According to the statement, one of the non-working cameras is located in the area of Bangs and Prospect avenues, where Small and his brother were shot.
Nicolle Harris, spokesperson for the National Action Network, said the group has been appointed to represent the family. She said the family is "greatly concerned that the camera wasn’t working.
According to Harris, the camera they’re speaking of would have “been able to catch quite a bit of what happened.” She added that this isn’t the first time a camera failed to record a crime.
“This is not the first murder investigation where this has happened,” Harris said, adding that they would like Asbury Park officials and police to look into the matter.
Acting police Chief Anthony Salerno told NJ Advance Media that he would like members of the public to "speak up if they have any information on the shooting."
"We need people to come forward so we could get information, and it's only that information that will assist in the arrest and prosecution of who was responsible (for Small's death)," he told NJ Advance Media.
He also said that for security reasons, the department doesn't "make it a practice to discuss" the city's surveillance cameras. He added that the cameras the family mentioned wouldn't have been able to capture images of the shooting because it's "one block over, and a few streets away" from where Small was gunned down. In addition, the view would have been obstructed by houses and trees.
"It's not even a straight line," he told NJ Advance Media.
Toniann Antonelli is the digital managing editor at NJ 101.5. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.