A man was found shot dead on a side street just blocks away from the scene of a shooting a few hours earlier that sent two men to the hospital – one in critical condition – but police are not sure if the two incidents are related.
Justin A. Williams, 20, whose last known address was on Whitesville Road in Jackson, was found shot to death after police received a 911 call at 2:19 a.m. Friday from a Westwood Avenue area resident reporting a body with blood around it on the road, according to Capt. Thomas Hayes of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.
Westwood Avenue is a narrow street off Ridge Avenue with a few vacant houses on one side of the street and new home construction on the other side. The neighborhood consists mostly of abandoned and boarded-up homes with several new homes under construction.
Police received no reports from anyone hearing gunshots, Hayes said. The caller was coming home from work when he saw the body on Westwood Avenue, Hayes said.
Hayes said “one of the focuses of the investigation” is another shooting in Lakewood hours earlier, but it was undetermined whether the two are related.
Gunshots were fired in the 500 block of East Fifth Street about 7:50 p.m. Thursday as township resident Luis Lozada, 37, tried to make a Mexican food delivery at the home of Gregory Castro, 23, police said.
As Lozada got out of the delivery car with the food he and Castro were accosted by two men, and the shots were fired by one of the robbers who had a handgun, Detective Sgt. John Stillwell said.
Lozada was shot in the abdomen. He was listed in critical condition at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune after undergoing emergency surgery Thursday night, Stillwell said. Castro was shot in the buttocks, and was listed in stable condition, he added.
“They were robbed of money and the food,” Stillwell said.
The two male robbers, who fled on foot, were described only as wearing dark clothing.
Williams, the homicide victim, had had contact with police in the past.
He was arrested around midnight on Sept. 11 in Lakehurst on weapons charges after police found him possession of brass knuckles, and being under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance, according to police there. He was taken to Ocean County Jail in Toms River, and later released after posting $2,500 bail.
(Source: Asbury Park Press)