ASBURY PARK — A night of family fun turned into a fright fest on the Fourth of July when gunfire erupted on the boardwalk, injuring two women while sending crowds of fireworks spectators into a stampede, police said.

The shooting happened about 9:58 p.m. Thursday near 1st and Ocean avenues.

Manalapan Township Police Officer Kyle Williams, who was working security detail for the Fourth of July fireworks, said he saw the gunman and nabbed a 16-year-old.

The teen has been charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon. He has not been charged, however, with causing the injuries of the two women. Investigators are analyzing ballistic evidence, prosecutors said Friday.

Fireworks over Asbury Park on Thursday night
Fireworks over Asbury Park on Thursday night (Bud McCormick)

A 55-year-old woman who works for a boardwalk business was hospitalized with a non-life-threatening wound. A 25-year-old woman who had been walking on the boardwalk declined medical attention for a minor wound. Investigators did not say Friday whether the wounds were from gunshots.

Prosecutors also did not say Friday whether they knew what motivated the shooting.

This Jersey Shore community still struggles with gang violence. But the boardwalk and downtown areas are considered generally safe and are often packed day and night with summer visitors.

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