ELIZABETH,  NJ - James Gilford , 20, of Elizabeth, along with Aziz Howard , 35, of Carteret, have been charged with first degree murder and weapons offenses in the death of James Garner of Linden, on Thursday, June 25, 2015, Acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced today.

According to Park, at approximately 11:20 p.m. on that date, Linden Police Department patrol units -- responding to a report of shots being fired -- arrived at a second-floor apartment unit in the 300 block of Price Street to find 37-year-old James Garner suffering from fatal gunshot wounds.  Mr. Garner was transported to a local hospital, where he was subsequently pronounced dead.

Following a round-the-clock investigation by members of the Union County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Task Force and supported by members of the Linden Police Department, probable cause was developed and on July 1, 2015, the Honorable Judge William Daniel of the Union County Superior Court signed complaint and arrest warrants for Aziz Howard and James Gilford, charging each with first-degree murder and second-degree weapons offenses.  Bail for each defendant was set a $2 million.

Sign Up for E-News

Early the following morning, members of the Homicide Task Force located and arrested Aziz Howard at his last known address in Carteret.  He was transported to the Union County Jail, where he is currently being housed.

Despite extensive efforts by authorities, James Gilford evaded capture and remains on the run.  He is described as a black male, standing approximately 5’7”, weighing approximately 160 lbs., with black hair and brown eyes.  He also goes by the alias “Baby James.”  Anyone who sees or comes in contact with Gilford is cautioned not to approach him and call  9-1-1.

The Union County Crime Stoppers are offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of James Gilford in this matter.  Tips can be given anonymously by phone at (908) 654-TIPS (8477), via text message by texting “UCTIP” plus a message to 274637 (CRIMES), or online at www.uctip.org.

Anyone with information about the death of Garner, or the whereabouts of James Gilford is being urged to contact Union County Homicide Task Force Detective Sergeant Kevin Grimmer at (908) 447-3777 or Union County Homicide Task Force Detective William Bizub at (908) 418-2817.