Police & Fire

Third Suspect Identified in Somerville Shooting, Charged with Attempted Murder

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Somerville resident Alquan Harris, 20, is wanted by police involving a shooting incident in Somerville on Oct. 26. Credits: Courtesy Somerset County Prosecutor's Office
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​SOMERVILLE, NJ - A 20-year-old Somerville man has been identified as the third suspect in an Oct. 26 mid-day shooting on the south side of the borough.

Alquan J. Harris, a resident of South Gaston Ave. is wanted by law enforcement for his involvement in the shooting, which left a 26-year-old resident of Easton, Pa., wounded in the leg, according to Somerset Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Harris has been charged with first degree attempted murder, second degree possession of a firearm, second degree unlawful possession of a firearm, according to Robertson..

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Two other suspects have been identified; one is in custody.

Robertson provided the following account:

Somerville Police responded to a call of shots fired in the area of Third Street and Center Street at 4:15 p.m.; the wounded man tried to drive himself to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, but was unable to get there, calling 911; Franklin Township police found the man in his car on Easton Avenue with the leg wound.

Previously charged with attempted murder and other offenses are Azikwa D. Rustin, 27, a Somerville resident,  and Joseph N. Wright, 35, a Bridgewater resident.

Police say the two men opened fire on the Easton man while he was seated inside his vehicle. Rustin was shot in the buttocks by his accomplice, Wright, according to Robertson. The continuing investigation revealed that defendant Harris was also present during the shooting and participated in events related to the shooting. Rustin was arrested after he drove himself to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital/Somerset, less than a mile from the shooting.

Police continue their search for Wright and Harris.

While investigators are attempting to determine a motive for the shooting, preliminary results are that the victim may have been mistaken for another individual.

Detectives are urging the public to report and not to approach the defendants who are considered to be armed and dangerous. Detectives are urging both defendants to turn themselves into law enforcement authorities. 

Rustin has been charged with first degree attempted murder, second degree possession of a firearm, second degree unlawful possession of a firearm, and second degree certain persons prohibited from possessing or controlling a firearm.

Wright has been charged with first degree attempted murder, second degree possession of a firearm, second degree unlawful possession of a firearm and a second degree certain person not to possess a firearm offense.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 908-231-7100, the Somerville Borough Police Department at 908-725-0331 or via the STOPit app by downloading STOPit to your smart phone at Google Play or the Apple Store and enter the access code SOMERSETNJ. 

Crime Stoppers of Somerset County, Inc. is likewise offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the whereabouts and arrest of defendants Wright and Harris. Tipsters wanting to remain anonymous and collect the reward monies must call the Somerset County Crime Stopper’s Tip Line at 1-888-577-8477 or submit information online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”.

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