Fugitive arrested, charged in connection with Plainfield homicide

Djuan Gamble

A three-week regional search for the primary suspect in a fatal shooting that occurred in Plainfield earlier this year has resulted in an arrest, acting Union County Prosecutor Jennifer Davenport announced Monday.

Djuan Gamble, 26, has been charged with first-degree murder and two related second-degree weapons offenses in connection with the death of 32-year-old Jaquan Heyward of Plainfield.

Plainfield Police Division patrol units responding to a report of a shooting in the courtyard area of the Liberty Village housing complex at approximately 8:20 p.m. on Sunday, May 26 found Heyward at that location, having sustained multiple gunshot wounds, according to the preliminary investigation. Heyward was transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, where he was pronounced dead a little less than an hour later.

A joint investigation by the Union County Homicide Task Force, Plainfield Police Division, Union County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit, and Union County Police Department Ballistics Unit resulted in Gamble being identified as a suspect in the case, and criminal charges were filed against him on Wednesday, June 12. A search involving local and federal authorities ensued, and Gamble was arrested by members of the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force at a relative’s home in Baltimore, Maryland on Wednesday, July 3.

Gamble was incarcerated there pending extradition to New Jersey and the scheduling of a first appearance and detention hearing in Superior Court.

Anyone with information about this matter still is being urged to contact Task Force Detective Matt Casterline at 908-418-2817 or Sgt. Johnny Ho at 908-403-8271.

Convictions on criminal charges of this nature are commonly punishable by terms of 30 years 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.