ELIZABETH, NJ - A Union County jury returned guilty verdicts on Friday on all charges against a former Elizabeth resident who fled overseas after killing a man in a drive-by shooting nearly seven years ago.
According to acting Union County Prosecutor Jennifer Davenport, Eslam Gad, 30, from Elizabeth was convicted of murder, two counts of attempted murder, and two related weapons offenses following a nearly month-long trial before state Superior Court Judge Candido Rodriguez Jr. and a brief period of jury deliberation spread over two days.
Several minutes before midnight on Wednesday, August 8, 2012, the victim, 21-year-old Anthony Holmes Jr. of Pemberton Township (Burlington County), was in the area of 3rd and Pine Street in the Elizabethport neighborhood with a relative and several friends when a person later identified as Gad fired numerous gunshots out the window of a red Ford Mustang, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutors Bruce Holmes and Diana Marie Laventure.
Authorities said Holmes Jr. who was not believed to have been the intended target, was struck by gunfire and rushed to University Hospital in Newark, where he was pronounced dead early the next day, Prosecutors Holmes and Laventure said. No one else was injured or killed as a result of the shooting, but two other individuals were in the immediate proximity of the victim when gunshots rang out, and two vehicles and a private residence were also struck by gunfire.
Authorities said Gad was identified as a suspect in the case, and criminal complaints were filed against him in Superior Court in late August 2012, several days after he had fled the country.
In October 2012, investigators filed a Blue Notice with INTERPOL asking that the intergovernmental police organization trace and locate Gad. Then, in November 2016, members of the Prosecutor’s Office were notified that INTERPOL had obtained a provisional arrest warrant for Gad, who was located and apprehended in Manchester, England with the assistance of the U.S. State Department and the Greater Manchester Police.
Gad was subsequently extradited back to New Jersey to await trial.
Sentencing for Gad has been scheduled for Friday, August 16, before Judge Rodriguez, at which time he will face a term of 30 years to life in state prison.