Camden, NJ – Police have arrested four suspects in connection with the drive-by shooting at the home of two Camden County police officers who were inside their residence with their 10-day-old infant.
Kobbie Johnson, 30, Jaqwa Styles, 19, Julio Nieves, 19, and Jeremiah McDonald, 18, have all been charged with conspiracy to commit murder, three counts of attempted murder, and various weapons charges, Camden County Police Department (CCPD) Chief Joseph Wysocki announced during a press conference on Monday, according to NJ.com.
Investigators alleged that the suspects intended to target someone else when they shot up the home of CCPD Officer Randy Cintron and Officer Jiahna Ibanez on Sept. 15, Chief Wysocki said.
The couple was asleep with their newborn infant in the upstairs area when the gunfire erupted, according to court documents.
Chief Wysocki said that the gunmen believed someone else lived at the home, and that the officers were not the intended targets, NJ.com reported.
“I believe they had the wrong house,” he said, according to The Press of Atlantic City.
He declined to provide a reason for why investigators came to that conclusion, and court documents did not reveal a potential motive, according to NJ.com.
The attack occurred at approximately 11:45 p.m. on Sept. 15, as the officers and their new baby were inside their home in the 2900-block of Clinton Street, KYW reported.
Surveillance footage showed two males exiting a dark-colored 1998 Honda Odyssey approximately two blocks away from the house shortly before the gunfire erupted, according to court documents.
The gunmen riddled the home with bullets, hitting it six times, police said.
Two of the rounds tore through the front door and into the interior of the officers’ house, NJ.com reported.
The couple and their newborn child were on the second level of the home and were not injured during the harrowing attack, according to a press release on the Camden County website.
Neighbors said they saw the Honda fleeing the scene after the shooting, and security cameras showed the vehicle driving away with its headlights off, according to court documents.
Police stopped the vehicle two days later and found Johnson behind the wheel, NJ.com reported.
Johnson subsequently “provided a statement to detectives placing himself in the area of the incident” before he requested a lawyer, according to court documents.
Investigators said that McDonald was among a group of males seen meeting with Johnson before and after the shooting, NJ.com reported.
On Sept. 27, police stopped McDonald in connection with a suspicious activity investigation and discovered he was carrying a Ruger 9mm, according to court documents.
The weapon matched the seven shell casings investigators had recovered from the scene of the drive-by shooting, NJ.com reported.
According to court documents, investigators tied Nieves and Styles to the scene using video footage, geofencing records, and witness statements.
Police did not specify in the court documents who they believe fired the rounds, NJ.com reported.
Johnson, who was arrested in Connecticut, is in the process of being extradited to New Jersey.
Styles, Nieves, and McDonald were all booked into the Camden County jail, NJ.com reported.
“I want to thank all of the participating agencies for closing this case and bringing justice to our victims,” Chief Wysocki said in a press release after announcing the arrests. “I cannot say enough good things about the work that was done by our shooting response team with assistance from the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, FBI, ATF, DEA, the US Attorney’s Office, the Marshalls Task Force and the New Jersey State Police.”
Chief Wysocki said that the CCPD has formally established a partnership with the ATF to help address “a sudden surge in violent crime,” according to the press release.
“We are focusing all our efforts now on gun violence in order to proactively suppress and eliminate violent crime,” he said. “That’s why today we are starting a new partnership with the ATF, so agents can work hand-in-glove with our shooting response team officers.”
“We want to send a clear message to individuals that would even think about pulling a trigger – we will find you and prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law and you will not terrorize our community,” the chief added.