Another Shooting in Downtown Toms River, No Suspects Yet After Council Plans to Turn Village into City

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TOMS RIVER, NJ – For the second time in a week, gunshots rang out in Downtown Toms River and once again, police have no suspects yet for either incident.  The shootings come as Tuesday night, the Toms River Council began discussing plans for new large residential and commercial structures to be built to expand the size and density of the downtown area.

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Toms River Township Police Chief Mitch Little announced that the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Toms River Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit are currently investigating a report of gunshots fired in the area of Washington Street in Toms River at approximately 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 13, 2020. There were no reported injuries. This is an active and ongoing investigation.

“We are allocating all of our resources to root out the individuals responsible for this brazen lawlessness. This behavior will not be tolerated. I can’t comment on the specifics of this investigation, I can tell you the Detectives are working around the clock to bring the individuals responsible to justice,” Prosecutor Billhimer commented. Chief Little added, “The Toms River Police Department is providing extra patrols and is committed to the safety of our residents.”

Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief Little urge anyone who has any information concerning this investigation to contact Detective Denis Mitchell of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-929-2027, or Detective Daniel Brennan of the Toms River Township Police Department at 732-349-0150.

The shooting comes hours after the Toms River Township Council announced the first phase of their plan to build up the Downtown Toms River district, by giving away township-owned land for free to a commercial property developer with ties to township officials.

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Last night at the Toms River Township Council meeting, the council approved a resolution to allow a private urban retail and apartment developer, Capodaglia Properties to use township property ahead of the construction of a large, 7 story complex to be built downtown in the near future.  Councilwoman Maria Maruca said the resolution was necessary to move forward on the construction of a new large parking garage and the redevelopment of the Robbins Parkway seaport area, but it was misdirection on the part of Maruca.  Instead, the township gave developer Capodaglia Inc. access to the Irons Street parking lot where the developer has proposed a plan to build a massive 7-story apartment building.   Access to the site was given so the developer can do soil compaction analysis ahead of construction.  Maruca and the council plan on giving the land to Capodaglia free of charge.

Maruca’s proposal had nothing to do with a proposed parking garage on Robbins Parkway.

Councilman Daniel Rodrick was the lone dissenter to vote against Mayor Mo Hill’s development plan, saying, “Toms River residents are sick and tired of overdevelopment.”
Rodrick added that the plan supported by Hill and his council allies, Maria Maruca, Kevin Geoghegan, Josh Kopp, and residential apartment complex developer Matt Lotano would increase traffic and lower the quality of life for residents now living downtown.


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