Politicians’ road trip does not make local Roselle shooting victims safer

While a teenager was recovering in a hospital form gunshot wounds sustained in Roselle after a party devolved into violence, local politicians took a road trip to Saint Luke Baptist Church in Paterson, where they engaged in more talk about things that are not happening.

The City of Paterson is experiencing one of the worst spates of violent crime since the early 1980s, making it an interesting place to discuss a legislative package that has failed to gain traction since it was proposed by the Governor a year ago, in April 2021.

The inaction on Murphy’s third set of anti-gun legislative proposals is partially due to opposition from Union County Senator Nicholas “No-Show Nick” Scutari, the Senate President.

Scutari has expressed doubts that the third package of gun bills Murphy has pushed since taking office in 2018 would accomplish anything more than merely enforcing other laws that are already on the books. 

“Day after day, members of our New Jersey family are being shot and killed,” said Governor Phil Murphy during an event attended by state Senator Joe Cryan, a number of other Democratic officials. “It’s outrageous their state government in Trenton is not doing everything they can to stem this violence.”

“Tragically, America experienced three mass shootings over the Easter weekend. And we are all still reeling from the horrific attack in the Brooklyn subway,” said U.S. Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr.

Scutari and other critics have said the bills won’t actually curb violent crime because they largely target law-abiding gun owners and don’t stem illegal guns flowing in from other states. Former Senate President Stephen Sweeney made similar arguments when he was asked about holding up the bulls last year.

The governor held Tuesday’s event exactly one year after he announced the proposals. In the year since, he said, 1,359 people have been shot in New Jersey, and 250 have died.

“These shootings have happened in communities all across our state,” Murphy said.

Like someone from the gang that could not shoot straight, Cryan described Roselle as “a different world” and said it was “somewhere near Garden State Parkway exit 141 or 138” at Saint Luke Baptist Church in Paterson. Exits 137 and 136 provide access to Roselle.

After noting that he was accompanied by Assemblyman Reginald Atkins, Roselle Mayor Donald Shaw, and Councilwoman-at-Large Denise Wilkerson, Cryan falsely stated that “in Roselle last Saturday night, we had a 15-year-old young woman shot.”

The shooting victim is a 17-year-old boy who is a senior at Linden High School.

The Saturday, April 16, 2022, shooting that wounded a child in Roselle is still under investigation and residents are urged to contact Detective Luis Vega at 908-259-4038 or LVega@RosellePD.Com with any information about the incident.

“The 18-year-old victim sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to a local hospital where he is receiving medical treatment,” said Mayor Donald Shaw, who was among the politicians plying press releases in Paterson. “I want to assure residents that our administration is working with other communities and political leaders to help rid our streets of illegal guns by advocating for life-saving gun safety reform.”

Shaw described the incident as “unfortunate.”

Police have not identified a suspect or made any arrests in connection with the shooting of the 17-year-old boy.

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