“Those kids came out crying,” – Mayor John Ducey of the students locked down after student shot.
BRICK TOWNSHIP-Two shootings of teenagers just days apart shocked the residents of Brick Township, once declared the safest town in America. After those shootings, Brick Township Mayor John Ducey declared that those responsible would pay for their crimes against the community.
“Today was a sad scary day, my worst day of mayor so far,” Ducey said shortly after a drive-by shooting sent one Brick Memorial High School student on his way home from school to the hospital. The event occurred just days after another drive-by shooting occurred in a nearby housing project.
Ducey said he received a call, stating there was a shooter at Brick Memorial High School.
“As I drove to that scene, I thought, my God, the kids, my God the police, my God the teachers,” Ducey said. “I knew there was a school resource officer there. I know the men and women of our department go through severe training for these types of events, I know the kids have to do these drills but to hear the shooter was not in the school, gave a little bit of relief, but today there was one boy injured.”
Ducey complimented the police department, recalling that on his way to the school, he knew his police department was well equipped, well-staffed and well trained to handle this very situation.
“He ran back to school because that’s where he felt safe,” he said. “It’s totally unacceptable for a shooting to occur in our community, especially in broad daylight in front of kids just getting out of school or practicing football on the field.”
Ducey then declared that his office and his police department would act swiftly against those who pulled the triggers.
“You’re going to be found,” he said. “Our police will not rest until you are off the streets of our great town…you are scum.”
“It is totally unacceptable for a shooting to occur in our great community, especially in broad daylight, in front of kids just getting out of school or practicing football on the field,” the mayor said. “Rest assured, the great men and women of this police department and Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office are working tirelessly to make sure that whoever that person is, pays for the terror that he gave every person in Brick, every parent in Brick, and most of all, every kid in Brick.”
Within 24 hours of his declaration, the first of two shooters were apprehended.
A 17-year-old male juvenile had been taken into custody in connection with the shooting and charged with the attempted murder of the high school student a day earlier.
The juvenile who pulled the trigger was arrested during a police raid of a home in Asbury Park. Two days later, a second juvenile was arrested for the weekend drive-by shooting. He was also arrested for attempted murder. This time the shooter turned himself in after video surveillance of the suspect was discovered by the OCPO high tech crimes unit.
On Tuesday, police announced they had arrested 19 people within a three-day operation based on intel gathered from the arrests of the two shooting suspects. Drug enforcement officers and the OCPO Narcotics Strike Team launched a joint operation to disrupt the drug trade that police eluded was the motivation behind the two shootings. Police reported that those arrested were caught with a wide array of illegal drugs including heroin, crack cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana.
Ducey thanked the Toms River Police Department, Ocean County Sherrif’s Department and Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office for providing coverage to the community while the entire Brick Police Department responded to the school.