Somerset County man admits to shooting civilian, shooting at police

A Somerset County resident has admitted to shooting a man in Plainfield earlier this year, then shooting at police responding to the scene moments later, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan announced Tuesday.

Junus Ellison, 28, of North Plainfield pleaded guilty late last week before state Superior Court Judge Joseph P. Donohue to three counts of first-degree attempted murder, one count of second-degree aggravated assault, and multiple related weapons offenses.

Shortly before 10 p.m. on Wednesday, April 4, Ellison fired four shots from a handgun at the shooting victim, a 24-year-old male, as he stood on the front porch of a home on the 1100 block of West 3rd Street in Plainfield, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor John Esmerado, who is prosecuting the case, and Detective David Nechamkin, who led the investigation. The victim was struck by gunfire once in the leg, after which he was transported to a local hospital for treatment, Esmerado and Nechamkin said.

At the time of the shooting, three Plainfield Police Division detectives were travelling in a vehicle on the 200 block of Pond Place nearby, and they heard the sound of gunshots. Immediately upon their arrival in the area of Stanley Place and West 4th Street about two minutes later, the detectives observed Ellison, donning all black clothing, turn towards them and fire multiple rounds at their vehicle.

The detectives then exited the vehicle and took cover as Ellison fled on foot. One of the three detectives gave chase through yards and parking lots for several blocks, with Ellison firing at him repeatedlyand the detective returning fire, but neither was struck. Shortly thereafter, Ellison was apprehended by other responding officers.  

A search of one of the yards in Ellison’s path of flight uncovered a handgun with a 27-round magazine.

Sentencing in the case has been scheduled for Friday, August 3 before state Superior Court Judge Candido Rodriguez, when the State will recommend a sentence of 20 years in state prison, with 85 percent of that period to be served before the possibility of parole under New Jersey’s No Early Release Act.