‘The wrong house’ — 4 shot into Camden cops’ home, police say
CAMDEN — County police have announced charges against four people accused of firing shots into a home shared by two officers in September.
Amid a spike in violent crime over the past several weeks, the Camden County Police Department held a press conference announcing the charges Monday afternoon, during which the police chief said he believes the shooters "had the wrong house."
Neither the officers, identified as Officer Citron and Officer Ibanez, nor their new baby, all of whom were home at the time of the shooting, were struck by the six rounds fired.
Still, the four men, all residents of Camden County, are each charged with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, unlawful possession of weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
"I want to thank all of the participating agencies for closing this case and bringing justice to our victims," Chief Joseph Wysocki said. "Getting these particular individuals off the streets will be a benefit for our community."
Wysocki, though, cited a "sudden surge" in violent crime in the county, including 12 homicides in the last six weeks. Wysocki specifically noted the very recent gunfire death of a 74-year-old woman, who was found inside her car Sunday morning.
At the press conference, the county announced a new partnership with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, aimed at addressing gun violence.
"I want to be clear — if you participate in gun violence, we will investigate and prosecute the case to fullest extent of the law," Camden County Prosecutor Jill Mayer said. "Whether that means that we file charges or we turn our investigation over to the U.S. Attorney's Office because federal charges will net a higher sentence, we will do what it takes to hold those accountable."
Wysocki would not release details related to a motive for the Sept. 15 attack on the 2900 block of Clinton Street, but said he does not believe the suspects knew that police officers lived in the home.
"I believe they had the wrong house," Wysocki said. "The house was targeted, but our officers were not."
When asked whether additional arrests could occur, Wysocki said the investigation remains active.
Those charged and in custody are Kobbie Johnson, 30, of Collingswood; Julio Nieves, 19, of Pennsauken; Jeremiah McDonald, 18, of Pennsauken; and Jaqwa Styles, 19, of Pennsauken.
Johnson was apprehended in Connecticut, and the others were apprehended locally, Wysocki said. All arrests occurred peacefully, he said.
The arrests would not have been possible without help from county, state and federal law enforcement, Wysocki said.