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Community Reacts to Tragedy in Bayonne

Crime Scene Tape
Flickr User Tex Texin

Residents of a bayside neighborhood struggled on Tuesday to make sense of the violent deaths of two adults and a 14-month-old at the hands of a man who later fatally shot himself in what authorities characterized as a domestic dispute that turned deadly.

The Hudson County prosecutor’s office said 28-year-old Adepso Collado shot his estranged wife, 26-year-old Kenia Collado, in her home Monday evening. Thirty-one-year-old Jose Guzman and Guzman’s 14-month-old son also were killed. Adepso Collado then turned a semiautomatic handgun on himself, authorities said.

Kenia Collado’s roommate was wounded, and her two children, both girls, escaped unharmed.

“I just heard a woman scream, then gunshots — about six or seven,” said neighbor Torrie Blue, who said her 9-year-old daughter regularly plays with the older children. “Then everything went quiet. I’m still shaking, honestly. It’s horrible, to see that happen to a baby and those other people.”

The prosecutor’s office said the Collados were estranged, and assistant prosecutor Tim Moriarty said he didn’t believe the couple was divorced. A neighbor, Angel Ortega, said that he didn’t remember seeing Adepso Collado at the house but said he regularly saw Guzman there and said Guzman would refer to Kenia Collado as his wife.

The neighborhood where the shooting occurred sits on a peninsula on the southern end of Bayonne, a few blocks from the Bayonne Bridge to Staten Island and, to the west, a few blocks from Newark Bay.

John Machin, who lives across the street from the Collados, said it’s a relatively close-knit community where neighbors know one another by name. He said the Collados’ house had been vacant for the last few years until the family moved in over the summer.

“It’s shocking; it’s troubling,” Machin said. “You wouldn’t expect that type of thing here. You never even see the police here.”

Cassandra Rasmussen, who lives several doors down, said she saw the family frequently cooking outside in the small yard next to the house; someone in the family had a green thumb, evidenced by a small plot of peppers and other vegetables behind the house.

“They seemed very happy. They were always outside having barbecues and dancing,” she said.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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