ELIZABETH, NJ - During a press conference in Elizabeth on Wednesday, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office along with multiple other agencies released information on the Easter morning shootout in Elizabeth that resulted in the death of 26-year-old Daniel Louis of Irvington and the attempted murder of police officers.
Authorities said on Tuesday they had obtained complaint warrants for four men in connection with the incident. They are as follows:
27-year-old Sharif Q. Robinson, of Jersey City, is charged with one count of first-degree Murder, one count of second-degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, and one count of second-degree Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution.
25-year-old Jonathan Philippe of Irvington is charged with two counts of first-degree Attempted Murder, two counts of second-degree Aggravated Assault and one count of second-degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose.
21-year-old Pierre Cadet of Irvington is charged with two counts of first-degree Attempted Murder, two counts of second-degree Aggravated Assault, one count of second-degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose and one count of second-degree Eluding.
23-year-old Don LaFortune of Irvington is charged with one count of first-degree Attempted Murder, one count of second-degree Aggravated Assault, and one count of second-degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose.
According to authorities, the investigation began in the early morning hours of Sunday, April 1, at approximately 2:30 a.m., when a large group assembled outside Exotics Gentlemen’s Club located on the 1100 block of Elizabeth Avenue. A fight between members of the group broke out and during the scuffle, one of the members of the crowd fired two shots into the air. The mob immediately dispersed, with several members, including the four charged above, going into a parking lot directly across the street. At that point, Sharif Robinson shot at unarmed Daniel Louis, who was later pronounced dead at the scene. An Elizabeth Police Officer on patrol in the area heard the initial gunshots and called for assistance.
Authorities said, immediately after Mr. Louis was shot, Robinson, Philippe, Cadet, and LaFortune became involved in a shootout in the parking lot, firing numerous rounds. It was at this moment that two Elizabeth Police Officers arrived at the scene, on foot, and immediately witnessed the firefight in progress. The officers advanced toward the shooters and were fired upon by Philippe and Cadet, who were near their vehicle, a Maserati. Neither officer was hit by the gunfire. The patrolmen returned fire, but the two men were able to enter the car and, with Cadet driving, flee at a high rate of speed. Elizabeth Police gave chase into Newark, where the two were able to evade the officers, abandon the vehicle and escape. The car was recovered by police.
Authorities said, after speaking to numerous witnesses and reviewing significant amounts of evidence, investigators determined the four men were responsible for the crimes that they were eventually charged. Around the clock efforts by law enforcement led to the arrest of both Cadet and LaFortune. They are currently in the Union County Jail pending Pretrial Detention Hearings.
Both Robinson and Philippe remain at large and police say they should be considered armed and dangerous.
Police say anyone who sees or comes in contact with either Philippe or Robinson is cautioned not to approach them and call “9-1-1”.
Union County Crime Stoppers are offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of Sharif Robinson and Jonathan Philippe 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.