SOMERVILLE, NJ – A Mechanic Street resident has been charged with attempted murder following Thursday afternoon’s shooting in the area of Third Street and Center Street.

Azikwa D. Rustin, 30, faces formal charges of first degree attempted murder, second degree possession of a firearm, second degree unlawful possession of a firearm, and second degree certain persons prohibited from possessing or controlling a firearm, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Robertson provided the following account of the shooting:

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The suspect was one of two men who approached a car driven by a 26-year-old man from Easton, Pa., and opened fire around 4:15 p.m. Thursday, according to Robertson, who said that the suspect, Rustin, was shot in the buttocks by the second shooter.

Rustin was taken to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital/Somerset suffering from the gunshot wound; police were notified by hospital personnel as their investigation unfolded.

Meanwhile, the 26-year-old Easton man who had been shot attempted to drive himself to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick; he called police, who found him in his car on Easton Avenue in Franklin Township, suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound to his leg. He was transported to the hospital for treatment.

Franklin police relayed that information to Somerville Police and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office detectives.

Investigators are working to identify the second shooter, his whereabouts and a motive for the shooting.

Preliminary results are that the victim may have been mistaken for another individual. 

Rustin is under police guard at the hospital; when released, he will be transported and lodged in the Somerset County Jail without bail pending a detention hearing.

Robertson, Chief of Detectives John W. Fodor, and Somerville Borough Chief of Police Dennis Manning request anyone with information regarding this incident 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 the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”.  All calls will be kept confidential.