Two apparently unrelated Elizabeth homicides occurring approximately one year ago remain under investigation today, and members of the public are being urged to provide any information that could lead to arrests, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Friday.
The first homicide took place at approximately 10:10 p.m. on Tuesday, October 14, 2014. Police and emergency medical personnel rushed to the 200 block of Pine Street in the city’s Elizabethport section at that time to find 39-year-old Alonso Gordon of Elizabeth suffering from gunshot wounds.
Gordon had been sitting on the front steps of a building on that block when an unidentified suspect approached on foot and fired a handgun at him at close range. He was subsequently transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
A joint investigation by the Union County Homicide Task Force and the Elizabeth Police Department uncovered surveillance video footage that appears to depict the shooter rounding a street corner near the site of the homicide seconds before shots rang out. The suspect is dressed in what appears to be a black hooded sweatshirt and dark pants, and he is also wearing beige boots and a belt with a large, metallic buckle.
The second homicide took place shortly before 3:15 a.m. on Sunday, October 19, 2014. First responders were called to the area of Bond and East Sixth streets in Elizabeth at that time to find 23-year-old Jiahad Chapman of Elizabeth suffering from gunshot wounds. Chapman was rushed to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
A joint investigation by the Union County Homicide Task Force and the Elizabeth Police Department also uncovered surveillance video footage depicting a suspect in this case. The suspect, a bearded man appearing to be in his 20s or 30s, is dressed in a dark hooded sweatshirt with white block lettering and is seen exiting what appears to be a white minivan moments before the shooting.
Investigators are urging anyone who was in the area of either homicide around the times of these shootings to think back and recall any suspicious activity they may have witnessed. The night of October 14, 2014 was unseasonably warm and humid, with temperatures in the low 70s at around 10 p.m., humidity levels around 85 percent, and overcast skies; alternately, temperatures dipped to the mid- to low 40s during the overnight hours of October 19, 2014.
Anyone with information about the death of Mr. Gordon is being urged to contact Homicide Task Force Sgt. Johnny Ho at 908-403-8271. Anyone with information about the death of Mr. Chapman is being urged to contact Sgt. Ho or Homicide Task Force Detective Danika Ramos at 908-451-7739.
The Union County Crime Stoppers reward offer for information leading to an arrest and indictment in either of these cases also has been increased from up to $5,000 to up to $10,000; tips can be given anonymously by phone at 908-654-TIPS (8477), via text message by texting “UCTIP” and a message to 274637 (CRIMES), or online at www.uctip.org.