Cranford man charged in Linden highway shooting

Cranford resident Andrew C. Johnson is in custody and has been criminally charged in connection with a double shooting that took place on U.S. Routes 1&9 in Linden Sunday morning, acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo and Linden Police Chief David Hart jointly announced Monday.

Johnson, 50, is charged with two counts of first-degree attempted murder and four related weapons offenses.

Shortly before 9:40 a.m. Sunday, members of the Linden Police Department responded to a report of shots being fired on the northbound lanes of Routes 1&9 near Avenue C and found the two shooting victims, a 50-year-old male and a 64-year-old male, inside a vehicle stopped on the highway, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Colleen Ruppert, who is prosecuting the case. The victims, both Elizabeth residents, were transported to University Hospital in Newark for emergency medical treatment.

Minutes later, patrol units located Johnson inside his vehicle in Elizabeth, and he was taken into custody without incident. A defaced .40-caliber handgun was recovered from the vehicle.

Johnson was lodged in the Union County Jail pending a first appearance and detention hearing to take place later this week in Superior Court.

“There is no way to understand this kind of senseless violence,” Chief Hart said. “Our prayers are with the victims, and we are grateful to the members of the public and responding officers whose swift actions led to the arrest of this suspect within minutes of the incident.”

Anyone with information about the shooting is being urged to contact Linden Police Department Detective Juan Velarde at 908-474-8552, Prosecutor’s Office Detective Brandon Lorenz at 908-337-3230, or Prosecutor’s Office Sgt. Danika Ramos at 908-451-7739.

Convictions on first-degree criminal charges are commonly punishable by 10 to 20 years in state prison.

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