Report: New Jersey mass shooting related to long-standing gang war

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Asia Hester, 25, shot dead during mass shooting in New Jersey.

A mass shooting Saturday night in Fairfield, located in Cumberland County in South Jersey may have been motivated by a long-standing turf war, the New York Post reported. The shooting killed two, a man and a woman and left 12 others shot, several others injured.

The New York Post reported guests at the backyard barbeque said the attack was motivated by a long term gang turf battle that has been going on since the 1960’s in the community between the South Side Young Boys and North Side Young Boys.

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Some guests suggested that the man was the target — with the shooting stemming from two local rival factions of young men.

“It’s South Side young boys vs. North Side young boys,’’ said a female guest who asked not to be identified.

“This has been going on since the ’60s, and now they’re getting crazier with it. They’re bringing guns.

“Usually, when they do that, they let off a couple [rounds], and that’s it,’’ she said. “ But last night, they just kept going. People were running, falling. People were dying. It went on for 5, 10 minutes, running from bullets.”

New York Post NJ mass-shooting survivors recall horror as possible motive surfaces

On Sunday, New Jersey Governor Murphy instead blamed gun control laws and not the system social and economic problems facing the community and a long time gang feud that spilled over out of revenge.

“Since late last night, the New Jersey State Police and county and local law enforcement in Cumberland County have been investigating the horrific mass shooting at a large house party in Fairfield Township that attracted hundreds of party-goers,” Murphy said. “At this time, at least two people have lost their lives, among numerous other shooting victims, including several with injuries that are life-threatening. We hold those who have died, and their families, in our prayers today, and we also pray for the recoveries of those injured. We are grateful for the swift response of law enforcement and stand with them as they continue their investigation.”

Instead of targeting gang violence and other afflictions that plague the community and New Jersey, Murphy set his own gunsights on gun ownership.

“Let there be no mistake: This despicable and cowardly act of gun violence only steels our commitment to ensuring New Jersey leads the nation in passing and enforcing strong and commonsense gun safety laws. No community should ever experience what occurred last night in Fairfield,” Murphy said. ““We urge anyone with information to step forward, so those responsible can be brought to justice. This remains an active investigation with many moving parts. More information will be released as it is available and confirmed.”

According to a 2017 Rowan University report on gang violence, gangs remain a public safety threat in the State of New Jersey given their heavy presence and continued involvement in drug, property, and violent crime. There is an estimated 12,500 gang members in the state and another 3,500 gang members supervised by the Department of Corrections.