TRENTON, NJ – Shootings and shooting murders are skyrocketing in New Jersey and Governor Murphy is blaming it on the “lethal cocktail” of high heat, COVID-19 lockdowns and racism. Murphy today said that New Jersey is not immune to the rising rate of gun violence we’re now seeing in cities like New York City and Chicago. Murphy did not cite high unemployment, hunger, poverty or financial situations as a contributing factor to the uptick in violence. Murphy also did not say the overall waning of respect for police, authority and the increase in lawlessness was a determining factor. It was also not mentioned that bail reform and reduced punishment for violent offenders was a contributing factor, but he did stop short of blaming guns…so far. It sounds like the Governor right now is just setting the table for something more ominous in the near future.
“We’re not immune to what we’re seeing around the country in terms of this lethal cocktail,” Murphy said. “Of being pent up, hot weather and trying to undo the state of racism, folks trying to come to grips with the community and police relations. There’s alot of non-COVID violence it seems everywhere in the country and we’re not immune to that.”
This year, gun murder has jumped 19% up 16 in the first six months of 2020 versus the first six months of 2019. So far, 100 people have been murdered by perpetrators with guns, versus 84 in 2019. Non-fatal shootings are also up to 553 from 538 a year ago.
“It’s troubling to report,” said New Jersey State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan. “We had 39 victims of shootings in this past week alone with 13 succumbing to their injuries and passing away. The likelihood of it continuing in the warm summer months gives us a tremendous amount of concern.”
“Shootings overall are up 3% year to date, but the shooting murder victims are up 19%,” Callahan said.