Police & Fire

Somerville Shooting: Second Suspect Charged with Attempted Murder

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Joseph N. Wright, 35, a resident of Bridgewater, has been charged with attempted murder. Credits: Courtesy Somerset County Prosecutor's Office
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​SOMERVILLE, NJ – A 35-year-old Bridgewater man has been identified as the second suspect involved in a daylight shooting in a Somerville neighborhood Oct. 26.

Joseph N. Wright  of Schindler Terrace, Bridgewater, 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 persons offense, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Police are continuing to search for Wright. A reward upwards of $1,000 is being offered for information that leads to his arrest.

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Facing identical charges is Azikwa Rustin, 30, a Somerville resident arrested after the suspect went to Robert Wood Johnson Univeristy Hospital/Somerset with a bullet wound to his buttocks. Police say Wright accidentally shot Rustin when both men fired into a vehicle driven by a 26-year man from Easton Pa. in the vicinity of Third Street and Center Street around 4:15 p.m..

The victim attempted to drive himself to RWJUH/New Brunswick and was assisted by Franklin Township Police after they received a 911 call; the victim was suffering from a non-life threatening leg wound.

Robertson said detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office are still trying to determine the motive for the shooting, but that the victim may have been mistaken for another individual.

Detectives are urging the public to report and not to approach the defendant who is considered to be armed and dangerous. Detectives are urging Wright to turn himself in to law enforcement authorities.

Robertson, Chief of Detectives John W. Fodor and Chief Dennis Manning of the Somerville Police request anyone with information 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 offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the whereabouts and arrest of Wright. Tipsters wanting to remain anonymous and collect the reward 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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