A former Elizabeth resident who fled to Egypt before being criminally charged in connection with an August 2012 homicide has been apprehended in England and is awaiting extradition back to New Jersey, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Tuesday.
Eslam Gad, 27, is charged with first-degree murder and related weapons offenses for allegedly fatally shooting 21-year-old Anthony Holmes Jr. of Pemberton Township, Burlington County.
Several minutes before midnight on Wednesday, August 8, 2012, Holmes was in the area of 3rd and Pine streets in the Elizabethport neighborhood with a relative and several friends when a person later identified as Gad fired numerous gunshots out the window of a red Ford Mustang, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Bruce Holmes, who is prosecuting the case.
The shooting victim, who was not believed to have been the intended target, was struck by gunfire and rushed to University Hospital in Newark, where he was pronounced dead early the next day, Holmes said. No one else was injured or killed as a result of the shooting, although two vehicles and a private residence were struck by gunfire.
An intensive joint investigation involving the Union County Homicide Task Force, Union County Sheriff’s Office, and Elizabeth Police Department resulted in Gad being identified as a suspect in the case, and criminal complaints were filed against him in Superior Court in late August 2012, several days after he had fled the country.
In October 2012, investigators filed a Blue Notice with INTERPOL asking that the intergovernmental police organization trace and locate Gad. Earlier this month, members of the Prosecutor’s Office were notified that INTERPOL had obtained a provisional arrest warrant for Gad, who was located and arrested in Manchester, England.
Assisting in the investigation along with INTERPOL were members of the FBI, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Justice Department, and U.S. Marshals Service. Gad’s arrest marked the second time in less than a month that multiple federal agencies played a role in helping apprehend a fugitive who fled overseas following a Union County homicide and remained at large for a matter of years; on November 1 it was announced that 30-year-old Welder Morente Dubon, formerly of Plainfield, had been arrested by federal agents in Guatemala on charges connected to the March 29, 2007 beating death of 23-year-old Joseph Tremarco of the Millington section of Long Hill.
Gad is now expected to be extradited to the United States during the coming months, after which a first appearance will be held in Superior Court.
Convictions on first-degree murder charges are commonly punishable by 30 years to life in state prison.
These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.