MAYS LANDING– Neco J. Pitts, 28, of Long Branch, and Leonard B. Ludwigsen Jr., 26, of Egg Harbor Township, were both charged for the January 2020 murder of a man in Atlantic City.
Both were charged with felony murder, robbery and weapons offenses in the fatal January 2020, shooting of 24-year-old Arturo Barrera III, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner announced.
“I want to commend the detectives of the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, along with our local, state, and federal partners, for their diligent and tireless effort to investigate and identify those responsible for the murder of Art Barrera, Jr. more than fifteen months ago. Our investigation has determined that this was not a random incident. On January 2, 2020, an eyewitness stated that two armed men in masks entered his residence. The men pointed the guns at the eyewitness and victim, at which time dogs started barking and moving toward the masked men. Simultaneously, Barrera Jr., stood up and the two men started firing, ultimately killing Barrera Jr. The two men then fled the home,” Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner said.
The Atlantic City Prosecutor’s Office reported:
At 11:20 p.m., on Thursday, January 2, 2020, Egg Harbor Township Police received a 911 call with a report of a shooting at 109 Vermont Avenue. When police arrived they found Barrera– a male resident of the home–who was the victim of multiple gunshot wounds.
On January 2, 2020, an eyewitness stated that two armed men in masks entered his residence. The men pointed the guns at the eyewitness and victim, at which time dogs started barking and moving towards the masked men. Simultaneously, Barrera stood up and the two men began firing, ultimately killing Barrera. The two men then fled the home. Barrera was pronounced deceased at the scene.
On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, Ludwigsen was taken into custody at his Egg Harbor Township home, charged and he is lodged at the Atlantic County Justice Facility. Pitts was charged and is lodged in the Monmouth County Jail on an unrelated matter.
“I have said it before, but it bears repeating; if someone has, or intends to, commit a murder in Atlantic County, our detectives and law enforcement partners will never stop searching for those responsible. This dogged determination runs throughout the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office and while some cases may take longer than others to resolve, the public should know that we never stop working to make our community safe,” Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner said.
The investigation and arrests were a joint effort by the following law enforcement agencies: the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, Egg Harbor Township Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office, Long Branch Police Department, Keansburg Police Department, Pemberton Police Department, Atlantic County Regional SWAT Team, Monmouth County Emergency Response Team.
Chief Assistant Prosecutor Seth Levy represents the state in this matter.
Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at http://www.acpo.org/tips.html and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page. People can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234 or 1-800-658-8477(TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at http://www.crimestoppersatlantic.com/. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.