What to Know
- Braylin Holmes, 19, was at a house party late Saturday night in Fairfield Township, New Jersey, when a gunman opened fire.
- Holmes along with Kevin Elliott, 30, and Asia Hester, 25, were killed in the shooting. Eleven other people were injured.
- Darrell Dawkins and Kevin Dawkins were both arrested in connection to the shooting. Police have not yet revealed whether or not either man was the gunman.
A young woman who was one of the 14 people shot during a mass shooting at a New Jersey house party over the weekend died from her injuries, making her the third deceased victim, police announced Tuesday. Police also announced the arrest of a second man in connection to the shooting.
Braylin Holmes, 19, of Millville City, New Jersey, was at a large 90's-themed birthday party on East Commerce Street in Fairfield Township, New Jersey, about an hour outside of Philadelphia, late Saturday night, when a gunman opened fire.
Holmes and at least 13 other people were struck by gunfire.
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Kevin Elliott, 30, and Asia Hester, 25, both from Bridgeton, Cumberland County, died from their injuries over the weekend. Holmes was pronounced dead Monday night at Cooper University Hospital.
"I graduated with her last year," Lucero Lopez, Holmes' friend, told NBC10. "She was a perfect person. Well, not everyone is perfect. She had a great smile. Great friends. Family."
Kevin Dawkins, 36, of Bridgeton, New Jersey, was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a handgun, possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose, possession of a high capacity magazine and certain persons not to possess weapons.
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Kevin Dawkins' half brother, Darrell Dawkins, 30, also of Bridgeton, New Jersey, was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a handgun.
Darrell Dawkins was the host of the party. Police found a 9 mm handgun registered to him inside the trunk of a Chevrolet Camaro that was parked in the driveway of the home.
While both suspects were at the party, police have not yet revealed whether either man was the suspected shooter.
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal called the shooting a "targeted attack" during a press conference on Monday.
It was estimated that there were several hundred people at the party, Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae said.
“Many others who were in attendance will carry the emotional scars of Saturday night,” Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday.
Police received an anonymous tip Sunday that there was a person with a gun in the woods behind the Maple Garden Apartments in Bridgeton, according to a criminal complaint obtained by NBC10. Officers found Kevin Dawkins on the ground near a tree, clutching a handgun, according to investigators. Police said he dropped the handgun after officers ordered him to do so.
Grewal said there is a significant amount of evidence to process and that multiple guns had been recovered from the scene.
Photos show overturned pop-up party tents, tables and chairs, and debris throughout the home's yard. A long driveway was still filled with cars late Sunday morning.
A resident who runs a local anti-violence organization said he was called out to assist families at the 90s-themed party. John Fuqua, of Life Worth Living, said guests who attended the party were of all ages.
Two cousins who live in the area of the shooting said they heard music from the party, then a series of shots — at least 15 of them over a few minutes.
Joeron Pierce and James Pierce, who live in homes next to each other, said that there was chaos after that. Partygoers ran through their yards and asked to come into their houses. They said cars ran into one other trying to speed away.
Fairfield Township Mayor Benjamin Byrd Sr., who was at the scene Sunday, said that Murphy offered his support and help.
“Nobody knows when someone's going to come out of the woods with a gun,” Byrd said.
Melissa Helmbrecht, who works for Hopeloft, a Bridgeton advocacy group for at-risk young people, said several young people in the group were at the party at the time of the shooting.
“It was hundreds of people, our neighbors, who were just getting together because it was the first really warm, nice night. There were a lot of parties and get-togethers throughout the community, and this was probably the biggest," Helmbrecht said.
John Fuqua told NBC10 his family members were at the party and his nephew had to run for his life as gunshots rang out from the tree line.
“My nephew said he was having a good time and next thing all he heard was shooting and he was running for his life. He got on the ground, he had to crawl. He stepped over a dead body," Fuqua said.
Murphy summed up the horror of the entire scene: "This was a birthday party, a birthday party is supposed to be a joyous event, not a target for those hellbent on inflicting harm on a community.
Murphy said officials can't reveal all exact details about the shooting since it's an ongoing investigation.
The shooting took place after police broke up a party that was a short distance away after receiving noise complaints earlier on Saturday night, Callahan said. That party broke up around 11 p.m.
Some of those partygoers wound up at the Commerce Street party, he said. A trooper then heard what he thought was fireworks or gunfire shortly after 11:30 p.m., Callahan said.
Callahan didn't say if the mixing of partygoers had anything to do with the shooting. He said that many of the partygoers were gone by the time most law enforcement arrived.
Grewal said the the county prosecutor's office and New Jersey State Police were leading the investigation with support from federal, state and local partners.
Webb-McRae urged anyone with information to share video, details or photos from the scene to contact authorities. Tips can be made anonymously.
If you have any information on the shooting, please call the New Jersey State Police Bridgeton Station at 856-451-0101.
You can also submit a tip via the Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office tipline at www.njccpo.org/tips.