ELIZABETH, NJ - Faheem Bowers, 27, of Elizabeth and a second defendant who was a juvenile at the time of the incident have been charged with murder, attempted murder and related weapons offenses in connection with the death of 18-year-old Christopher Cummings and the serious injury of a second victim on May 12, 2008, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced on Wednesday.
Cummings and the second victim, who was 24 at the time, were in the rear yard of a home on the 400 block of Jefferson Street in Elizabeth, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Scott Peterson, who is prosecuting the case. At that time two men wearing ski masks leaped over a fence into the backyard and opened fire, Peterson said.
Cummings was pronounced dead at the scene, while the second victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries. Initially, no suspects in the case were identified, but an intensive long-term investigation involving the Union County Homicide Task Force and the Elizabeth Police Department ultimately resulted in Bowers and his co-defendant being charged.
Both defendants in this matter were in custody on unrelated charges at the time they were served with murder and attempted murder complaints on Tuesday. Bail for Bowers was set at $1 million by state Superior Court Judge William Daniel.
These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.