Linden man charged with murder after Bridgewater weekend shooting
BRIDGEWATER — A Union County man is accused of a deadly shooting near a township home that prompted a large law enforcement response and a shelter in place for some residents late Saturday night.
Somerset County Prosecutor Michael Robertson announced Monday that 33-year-old Hafeez A. Brown, of Linden, has been charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of 30-year-old Roobino Philemon, of West Orange.
George A. Bease, 32, who lives at the house on Bayberry Road where the incident unfolded, also has been arrested. Bease is charged with illegal firearms possession, while Brown faces two counts of illegal firearms possession.
The prosecutor said Philemon and another person tried to access a birthday party being held at Bease's home Saturday night, but were stopped at the front door and told they were not welcome inside. Philemon and the other individual then got into their vehicle and started to drive away, but stopped on Foothill Road near the intersection of Bayberry Road, Robertson said.
The homeowner then walked up to the car and told Philemon, who was driving, to continue to leave, according to the prosecutor, who said Brown then walked up toward the rear of the vehicle and fired a gun multiple times in its direction, hitting Philemon with one shot, just before midnight.
According to police, Philemon told his front seat passenger that he had been shot and stopped again briefly on the road, where the passenger helped Philemon to the back seat before taking the wheel and calling 9-1-1.
The other person with Philemon, whose identity has not been disclosed, then saw a police vehicle on Route 22 East near Grove Street and flagged down the car, Robertson said.
Somerset County SWAT team members were part of the response to the Bayberry Road home, where Bease and Brown, along with another man and two women, listened to law enforcement and exited the house.
A search of the house recovered "a substantial quantity of marijuana" along with two firearms and ammunition, Robertson said.
Both Brown and Bease were being held at the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.
The New Jersey Regional Medical Examiner’s Office will perform an autopsy to determine cause and manner of death.
According to his personal Facebook page, Philemon was an Occupational Therapy Assistant at a nursing home on Staten Island.
As the investigation continues, anyone with information can contact Bridgewater Police at 908-722-4111, or the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 908-231-7100.
Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or via the STOPit app, available at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store with access code: SOMERSETNJ.
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