Prosecutor: One of Two South Toms River Gunmen Still At-Large

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and South Toms River Police Chief William Kosh announced today that two individuals have been charged in connection with the shootings that occurred in South Toms River in the early morning hours of August 25, 2019.

Nagee Covington, 19, of Lakewood, has been charged with three counts of Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(1); one count of Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(7); one count of Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a(1); and one count of Unlawful Possession of a Weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b(1). Covington was taken into custody and is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Shakem Hunley, 24, of Freehold, has been charged with three counts of Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(1); one count of Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a(1); and one count of Unlawful Possession of a Weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b(1). A warrant has been issued for Hunley’s arrest and he remains at large.

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On August 25, 2019, South Toms River Police were summoned to a residence by way of a 9-1-1 call reporting gunshots. At the scene, police found a male victim with a gunshot wound to his leg. The victim was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, where he was treated for his injuries. Two additional gunshot victims were transported to Community Medical Center in Toms River for treatment. A female victim located at the scene was determined to have been physically assaulted.


After a thorough investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, South Toms River Police Department, and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, a Court ordered search warrant was executed at a residence in Lakewood with the assistance of the Lakewood Township Police Special Response Team. As a result, Covington was arrested; Hunley remains at large. Anyone with information concerning Hunley’s whereabouts should contact Detective Denis Mitchell of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit at (732) 929-2027, extension 2476, or Detective Timothy Meier of the South Toms River Police Department at (732) 349-2010.

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Prosecutor Billhimer commended the diligent efforts of the many law enforcement officers and departments involved in this extensive investigation. Prosecutor Billhimer would like to thank the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, South Toms River Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Freehold Borough Police Department, Lakewood Police Department and the Lakewood Township Police Special Response Team. “The residents of South Toms River should not have to worry about their neighborhood turning into O.K. Corral; this wanton brutality will not be tolerated in any of our communities. I’m relieved that one individual is in custody, but our job is not done. We need to find Shakem Hunley and restore a sense of peace in South Toms River,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.

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