Three Charged in Shooting Death of 9-year-old Bridgeton Girl in Her Bedroom
VINELAND — Three men were arrested and charged with the death of a 9-year-old girl who in July was struck by a stray bullet from a shooting on the street just outside her bedroom.
Michael L. Elliott, 25, and Leroy Frazier 3rd, 20, both of Vineland, and Charles Gamble, 18, of Salem, were taken into custody on Friday by detectives from the Bridgeton Police Department and the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office.
All three were charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder and weapons offenses. They were being held at the Cumberland County Jail.
Police said they found a handgun, a substantial amount of suspected heroin and a small amount of crack cocaine in the homes of Elliot and Frazier.
Prosecutors did not say Friday what motivated the July shooting
The investigation remains open and additional arrests could be made.
The fatal incident was one of three this summer in Cumberland County. Youth football coach Joseph L. Jones was shot in a middle school parking lot in front of more than 100 children and parents on August 9. Erica McNair was shot in the head as she stood on the porch of her Bridgeton home on August 11.
Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae was "deeply moved and shocked" by the violence and in an op-ed column wrote about not letting criminals "hold her community hostage."
"Evil can only flourish when good men remain silent. We need witnesses to prove cases in court. A police officer on every corner is not what makes a community safe. It is people coming together helping each other and dictating acceptable cultural and social norms for where they live. We as a community need to say "NOT ON MY BLOCK, NOT IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD, NOT IN MY CITY, NOT IN MY COUNTY," Webb-McRae wrote.
Police asked anyone with information about these cases to call the Prosecutor's Office at 856-207-2999.