A man and a woman were killed and 12 others injured in a shooting late Saturday night at a house party in South Jersey, according to New Jersey State Police.
The shooting occurred just before midnight at a home in Fairfield Township, a rural community outside of Bridgeton in Cumberland County.
According to a release by the State Police, troopers from the Bridgeton Station responded to a report of a shooting at a residence on East Commerce Street about 11:50 p.m.
There, the troopers discovered that a 30-year-old man and 25-year-old woman had been fatally shot and that 12 other adults had been taken to area hospitals with various gunshot injuries, police said.
As of Sunday morning, one of the 12 was reported in critical condition with serious injuries, police said. They did not disclose additional information about the others.
No arrests had been made, and an investigation into the motive behind the shooting continued, police said. They asked anyone with information to contact the New Jersey State Police Bridgeton Station at 856-451-0101 or through the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office website at www.njccpo.org/tips.
A resident who runs a local anti-violence organization said he was called out to assist families at the ’90s-themed party. John Fuqua, of Life Worth Living, said guests who attended the party were of all ages.
Photos show overturned pop-up party tents, tables and chairs, and debris throughout the home’s yard. A long driveway was still filled with cars late Sunday morning.
Two cousins who live in the area of the shooting said they heard music from the party, then a series of shots — at least 15 of them over a few minutes.
Joeron Pierce and James Pierce, who live in homes next to each other, said that there was chaos after that. Partygoers ran through their yards and asked to come into their houses. They said cars ran into one another trying to speed away.
WPVI-TV reported that the minister of a nearby church also heard the gunfire.
“I just started hearing at first what I thought was fireworks, it was really gunshots, and I heard nine in rapid succession,” said the Rev. Michael Keene of the Trinity AME Church.
Fairfield Township Mayor Benjamin Byrd Sr., who was at the scene Sunday, said that Gov. Phil Murphy offered his support and help.
Byrd said he did not have any details about the shooting.
Murphy called the shooting “horrific.”
“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,” Murphy said in a statement. “No community should ever experience what occurred last night in Fairfield.”
State police scheduled a news conference for Monday morning.
This article contains information from the Associated Press.
This is a developing story and will be updated later.