Elizabeth man charged with murder

An Elizabeth man has been arrested and charged with being responsible for the fatal shooting that took place in an Elizabeth public housing complex yesterday, acting Union County Prosecutor Jennifer Davenport announced Wednesday.

Ronald Santiago, 22, is charged with murder, robbery, felony murder, and two related weapons offenses in connection with the death of 27-year-old Alphonso P. James of Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Police Department patrol units responding to a report of a shooting in an outdoor courtyard at the Mravlag Manor housing complex at approximately 2:30 a.m. Tuesday found James there, injured, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Armando Suarez, who is prosecuting the case. James was pronounced dead a little more than half an hour later, Suarez said. 

A fast-moving investigation by the Union County Homicide Task Force, assisted by the Elizabeth Police Department, Union County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit, and Union County Police Department Ballistics Unit, resulted in Santiago being identified as a suspect in the case. He was apprehended hours after the shooting and lodged in Union County Jail pending a first appearance and detention hearing expected to take place later this week.

Anyone with information about this matter still is being urged to contact Task Force Sgt. Danika Ramos at 908-358-8377 or Detective Christopher Scuorzo at 908-472-0492.

Convictions on criminal charges of this nature are commonly punishable by penalties of up to life in state prison.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.