Updated: New Brunswick Birthday Party Shooting Leaves Two Township Residents Dead

Lionel Macauley was one of two men with ties to Franklin Township killed in an early morning shooting in New Brunswick on September 13. (Photo: Facebook.)

Update 2: A 19-year-old Somerset man was arrested February 5 and charged with the two murders.

The man was charged with two counts of 1st Degree murder, one count of 1st Degree Conspiracy to Commit Murder, seven counts of 1st Degree Attempted Murder, one count of 2nd Degree Conspiracy to Possess a Firearm for an Unlawful Purpose, one count of 2nd Degree Possession of a Firearm for an Unlawful Purpose, and one count of 4th Degree Tampering with Evidence.

The investigation determined that the Somerset man and others drove to the party and allegedly shot into a crowd of people, according to a press release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.

Update: A ninth victim of the shooting has come forward, the MCPO reported on Sept. 14. The person, who was not named, suffered minor injuries that did not require hospitalization.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to defray the funeral costs for Robinson, who was the father of a 2-year-old girl. The page can be found here.

Original Story: Two men with township ties were killed in an early morning shooting at a New Brunswick birthday party on September 13.

The shooting, which occurred at a Delafield Street home, left six other people wounded, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.

According to friends of the men, Lionel M. Macauley, 28, of Somerset, a 2010 graduate of Franklin High School, and Anthony Robinson, 23, also a FHS graduate, of New Brunswick, were two of the eight people shot by four gunman who stormed the party at about 1:18 a.m. Sept. 13.

Friends of the men said the party was held in honor of Robinson’s birthday.

There was no official motive for the shooting presented by police, but a Facebook post made by a friend of Macauley’s indicated the party had something to do with it.

“You made ya whole state take an “L” over what?! $7????? People are hurting! Over your 20 second thrill! The bullets in the gun cost more than what it cost to get in the party!!!!!!!” Dominé Spinelli wrote.

A neighboring home surveillance video shows a car double-parking near the Bristol Street intersection with Delafield, and four men jumping out with guns drawn and firing as they run toward the house, then quickly get back in the car and make a right turn on Bristol.

A pedestrian on the sidewalk near the stopped car turns and runs away, and a person sitting in a chair on a home’s porch across the street drops to the floor and takes cover as the shooting starts.

The video was obtained by ABC7 news.

#Video 4 gunman drive up, get out and in just 15 seconds shoot and kill 2 people and injure 6 more. #police are now looking for the suspects. It happened just off campus, near @rutgersu but didn’t involve any students. Hear from a witness who ran to help the injured. Starting at 5 @abc7ny #abc7ny #police #officers #investigation #bullets

Posted by Kemberly Richardson on Sunday, September 13, 2020

While at FHS, Macauley was a member of the football and boys’ track teams, and also participated in theater and other performing arts.

Among Macauley’s athletic accomplishments: He was a member of the 2010 Franklin High School boys’ track team that took the Skyland Conference championship, placing first in the triple-jump, he placed second in the 110 hurdles in the 2009 Somerset County Championship track meet, and he was a member of the FHS shuttle relay team that set a meet record at the 2008 Somerset County Relays meet.

Macauley’s Facebook page was filled September 13 with messages of grief and condolence.

“Your soul is too beautiful, your energy is too big, you are an amazing person. I’m just lost, I’m in disbelief I love you soo much. My son will know Uncle Lionel M. Macauley,” wrote his sister, Alisha Irene Jones.

“You had such a beautiful soul and for someone to take your life away like that is devastating! I’m praying for your family , hoping that they can find strength to get through this tough time ! I’m so heart broken,” Markeda Williams wrote.

Jasmin Bonner, a friend of Macauley’s said that her “prayers are with the Macauley family, this loss is a loss felt by the entire community. Lionel was always a face you seen smiling. Amazingly talented, genuinely kind and super supportive. He was one of the first people to join my protest. I’m truly at a loss of words. I do think the community should come together and show the Macauley family what a beautiful soul they raised and that we hurt with them.”

Anyone with information about the shooting is is asked to call Detective Erika DiMarcello of the New Brunswick Police Department at (732) 745-5200, or Detective Julissa Alvarado of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office  (732) 745-3848.

This is a developing story. More information will be added as it becomes available.

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