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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Violent week in Plainfield: 3 shootings, one fatal


It has been a violent week in Plainfield, with three shootings -- one of them fatal.

Text messages and phone calls while I was at a regular appointment with the Peg-Leg People Wednesday afternoon alerted me to a shooting on Evona Avenue, near West 3rd Street in Plainfield's West End.

The male victim, who was hit several times, was medevaced from Rushmore Playground a block away to Robert Wood Johnson hospital.

A brief account appears in today's Courier (see story here).

Though the quiet, tree-lined street of single-family homes borders on Piscataway, neighbors have complained for years of drug activity in the area. A nearby convenience store has been the site of several gunplay incidents.

Director Public Safety Martin Hellwig did not indicate whether police believe the incident was drug or gang-related.

Meanwhile, a mobile police bulletin board on West 7th Street near Liberty Street is asking passersby in both English and Spanish to notify police with any information they have pertaining to last Friday's murder of 31-year-old Daniel Gomez in the Victorian multi-family at the corner of West 7th and Plainfield Avenue. The Ledger broke that story online the same day (see here).

It is not known whether Gomez' shooting -- the city's 6th homicide for 2013 -- is related to the takedown of 14 MS-13 gang members just the week before, but it is an angle authorities are said to investigating.

Lastly, merchants near Plainfield's main train station were shocked by a violent mid-day attack Saturday on shopkeeper Zoila Nova at Alondra's Vanidades on Park Avenue near the NJ Transit overpass. Ms. Nova was shot in the chest and beaten by the suspect with a chair.

An employee of Nova's son, an area landscaper, saw the suspect flee the store and alerted police, who found him hiding in a nearby store.

Nearby shopkeepers were shocked because the area is busy with heavy foot traffic and abounds in popular restaurants. While the word in the street is that Nova was robbed, the police told a Ledger reporter that the suspect had no money on him when apprehended (see story here).

Several merchants have said to me that they find it very puzzling that, considering the violence of the attack and the fact that Nova was shot, the suspect's weightiest charge is only 'aggravated assault'. What is that about?

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

According to the City of Plainfield's website: "Plainfield NJ is a suburban treasure!". Yes, it is. And it's jewels are: crime, apathy,greed,corruption...shall I go on?