Gunfire near Lakewood Community Center — 3 arrested after returning twice
LAKEWOOD — Three people were charged in connection with gunfire that erupted outside a community center early Thursday morning but authorities have not released many details about the circumstances of the shooting.
Police spokesman Gregory Staffordsmith said officers responded about 12:20 a.m. to a report of gunfire near the Lakewood Community Center on 4th Street. Staffordsmith did not say how many shots were fired or who was shot.
A vehicle believed to be involved in the shooting quickly left the scene, police said. Police said the vehicle had damage that appeared to come from incoming gunfire.
It was spotted a short time later at a Wawa on the westbound side of Route 70 in Toms River.
Three people in the car were questioned and released: Eric Harris, 32, Nekeisha McDermott, 41, and Jonathan Ross. They were described as "uncooperative," according to Staffordsmith.
But the car returned to the scene of the crime two more times following the shooting and the three were arrested the third time.
When the vehicle returned after having been stopped by police, the driver took off again when they saw police still in the area, Staffordsmith smith.
The car returned yet again, leading police to stop it and conduct a search. That's when police said they found a loaded .357 revolver and large quantities of ammunition and drugs.
Harris and McDermott were charged with unlawful possession of a handgun, possession of handgun for unlawful purpose, possession of a handgun while committing a drug offense, and several drug offenses.
Ross was arrested on a warrant from Newark.
Staffordsmith on Thursday morning did not reveal the circumstances of the shooting, how many shots were fired or if anyone was struck and injured.
A Lakewood Scoop reporter on his Twitter account said at least 10 shots were fired at a group but no one was struck. Video of the scene shows four officers shining flashlights on the grassy space next to the community center.