Four Arrested, One Sought, In Murder And Shooting Spree

Four township men have been arrested – and a fifth person is being sought – in connection with the New Year’s Eve murder of a 19-year-old and wounding of a 70-year-old Franklin residents and several other shootings in the township.

The murder victim, Samaad Frazier, was found by police inside a car parked at the rear of a Churchill Road home following a 3:26 p.m. 9-1-1 call reporting shots fired, according to a press release from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office.

Officers and emergency medical personnel rendered life-saving measures, and Frazier was taken to a local hospital, where he died from his injuries, according to the release.

Responding officers spotted a car whose description matched that of a suspect vehicle in the incident and gave chase, according to the release.

The car was seen fleeing at a high rate of speed on Hamilton and Berry streets, the release said, and eventually crashed at Easton and Oakland avenues.

The car’s five occupants fled on foot in different directions, the release said.

One of the suspects captured by an FTPD detective and patrol officers, an 18-year-old man, was carrying a semi-automatic handgun, the release said. He was ordered to drop the weapon and complied, and was arrested, according to the release.

A 19-year-old man and a 16-year-old youth were also taken into custody that day, according to the release.

On January 2, a fourth suspect, a 16-year-old youth, was also taken into custody without incident, the release said.

The search for the fifth suspect remains ongoing, police said.

Police responded to earlier “shots fired” calls on King Road on December 31, at 2:27 a.m. and 2:29 a.m., to find a 70-year-old man suffering a gunshot wound to his leg, the release said. Multiple shell casings were found outside of the house, police said.

The man was taken to a local hospital, where he was treated and released, according to the release.

Police are also investigating a shooting incident that occurred on December 30, when shots were fired into a Barker Road home. The people inside the home were not injured, according to police. Multiple shell casings were found outside that residence.

Charges against the adult defendants and one juvenile include first degree murder, second degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and fourth degree eluding by flight, according to the release.

The second juvenile, who was released to a family member pending a hearing, faces a fourth degree eluding charge.

The two adults were remanded to the Somerset County Jail, SOmerville, pending hearings. The other juvenile was lodged at the Middlesex County Detention Center, North Brunswick, pending a hearing, police said.

Anyone with information relating to the shootings or the murder is asked to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100 or the Franklin Township Police Department at (732) 873-5533 or via the STOPit app. The STOPit app allows citizens to provide anonymous reports including videos and photos. STOPit can be downloaded to your smart phone for free at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, access code: SOMERSETNJ. Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). All anonymous STOPit reports and Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

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