Murders, mayhem, mysteries — What we know (and don’t) about 6 brutal attacks this weekend
Police throughout New Jersey are investigating several brutal attacks this holiday weekend — some of them deadly.
In some cases, shooters remain on the loose, and police are asking for the public's help with any information that could lead them to suspects.
A 48-year-old Monroe man shot himself to death after trying to kill his girlfriend and her 9-year-old son.
What we know so far: Gloucester County authorities say Melissa Cakmak, 41, had kicked boyfriend Robert Long out of their Poplar Lane home early on Thanksgiving. Then, later in the night at another address, they reportedly got into a physical fight. He fled before police arrived to respond to that incident, but was pulled over and charged with DWI, then released to the custody of another person.
Cakmak told authorities said she woke up at 1:30 a.m. Friday to find Long holding a handgun. He shot her once in the torso and fired a second time, striking her son in his hand, authorities say. The two escaped the residence, police surrounded the house, and by the time a SWAT unit burst into the home at 5 a.m., Long was dead of a self-inflicted gunshot, police said.
What we don't know: When Long was stopped and charged with DWI, why wasn't he also charged in connection with the alleged physical fight earlier that evening? And what happened after he was released to a relative? We're unclear on who that relative is or what he or she may have told police about Long's behavior in the hours between the DWI and the shooting.
What we know so far: Atlantic County Acting Prosecutor Diane Ruberton said 20-year-old Demond Cottman.of Atlantic City was shot several times in the parking lot outside the Macy’s store at the Hamilton Mall in Mays Landing, at around 1 a.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
His brother, Shadi Cottman, 26 of Clayton, was taken to the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the leg, but was in stable condition.
What we know so far: Who was responsible for the shooting? Has Shadi Cottman been able to give police a description? And what prompted it? Was this a robbery, an altercation with the brothers ... something else? So far, authorities haven't discussed a motive or said whether they have a suspect description.
What we know so far: A DJ from Maryland who had been hired to perform at an event in Howell was shot in the abdomen during a robbery early Thanksgiving day in Lakewood, around midnight at the High Point Condominium Complex.The Maryland man told police that he and a female friend were in their car waiting to be paid for the evening when two men “spontaneously opened the door” and demanded their belongings, police said.
The man said he was shot after he initially refused to comply. The robbers took off with the victims’ cell phones and his wallet. His friend then drove him to the Monmouth Medical Southern Campus emergency room, where police were called about 12:30 a.m.
What we don't know: Who was responsible? Did the robbers know who the DJ was, or that he might be carrying a payment from the event? Or was this a typical carjacking? Authorities are asking anyone with information about the incident to Lakewood police Det. Charles Messer at 732-363-0200.
What we know so far: A 22-year-old Burlington Township man was shot to death early Friday in Burlington City, authorities say. Howard G. Young, Jr., 22, was outside on the 100 block of East Federal Street in Burlington City when he was shot by an unidentified male, Burlington County Prosecutor Robert D. Bernardi and Burlington City Police Chief Alan R. Snow said in a joint statement.
He died later that night.
What we don't know: If police have any suspects, or believe they know a motive for the killing, they haven't said so yet. Police also said they haven't recovered a weapon, but aren't yet planning on releasing further information. The Courier-Post reports that in August, another man, 24-year-old Byron Turner was shot to death on the same block — but a suspect has been arrested in that case, and it's not clear that the two are in any way related.
Young had been arrested in early 2014 in connection with a drug raid. CBS 3 reported at the time the then-20-year-old had been charged with obstruction of justice and resisting arrest when he allegedly attempted to enter an East Federal Street residence police were searching — and when he attempted to run from officers a few hours later. Police haven't said whether they believe Young was involved in any criminal activity leading up to the shooting.
Authorities are asking anyone with information to call the Burlington City Police Department at 609 386-0262 ext. 221, message the department on Facebook or call Burlington County Central Communications at 609-265-7113.
What we know so far: At about midnight on Thursday, police were dispatched to a Kennedy Boulevard home in Bayonne, where they found Stanley Mazurczyk, unresponsive and with multiple stab wounds to his upper body. He died shortly after of the stab wounds, authorities say.
His wife, Margaret Mazurczyk, 50, was arrested by Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office detectives and officers of the Bayonne Police Department and charged with murder, the prosecutor’s office said.
What we don't know: The prosecutor’s office didn’t say what led authorities to believe Margaret Mazurczyk had committed the alleged murder, or what circumstances they believe led up to it. Authorities haven't yet said if she gave a statement, or if anyone else was present for the killing.
She was also charged with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and unlawful possession of a weapon. Her bail was set at $500,000, cash only.
The prosecutor’s office said it is asking anyone with information to call 201-915-1345 or leave an anonymous tip on the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office website. All information will be kept confidential.
What we know so far: Friday night, at about 8:30 p.m., Vineland officers responded to a report of a person being shot multiple times in front of a residence on Michael Ave, police said.
There, they found a 23-year-old man conscious and alert, but suffering from several gunshot wounds, police said. He was airlifted to the trauma unit at Atlantic City Medical Center and was reportedly undergoing surgery, police said.
What we know so far: It's not clear from information police have released so far just how badly the man was hurt, or if he's yet been able to describe the shooter. Police also haven't yet said if there were any other witnesses to the incident, or if they have information about what lead up to the shooting. Police have only said the investigation is ongoing.
— With reporting by Dan Alexander and Sergio Bichao
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