What to Know
- At least 14 people were shot -- at least two killed -- during what New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy called a "horrific mass shooting."
- The gunfire rang out late Saturday night during a party at a Fairfield Township home in Cumberland County.
- Photos show overturned pop-up party tents, tables and chairs, and debris throughout the home's yard.
Editor's Note (May 24, 9:47 a.m.): This story is no longer being updated. Click here for new information.
New Jersey state police said at least 14 people were shot, with two of them killed, during what they called a "mass shooting event" at a party being attended by at least 100 people in rural Cumberland County.
The shooting Saturday at a home on the 1000 block of East Commerce Street in Fairfield Township happened shortly before midnight and left an unidentified 30-year-old man and 25-year-old woman dead as people scattered to safety, state police said.
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Police said several people were taken to area hospitals with gunshots, and at least one person was in critical condition. The property where the shooting took place is located in a wooded area near a cemetery and a school.
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.
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Melissa Helmbrecht, who works for Hopeloft, a Bridgeton advocacy group for at-risk young people, said several youths 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 woods.
“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," he said.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy called the shooting "despicable and cowardly."
"Let there be no mistake: This despicable and cowardly act of gun violence only steels our commitment to ensuring New Jersey leads the nation in passing and enforcing commonsense gun safety laws," the first-term Democrat said in a statement. "No community should ever experience what occurred last night in Fairfield."
Police could be seen searching the area with dogs over a large perimeter.
It was unclear who opened fire or why, and no arrests were immediately reported.
Murphy plans to hold a briefing on the shooting on Monday at 10 a.m.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the New Jersey State Police Bridgeton Station at 856-451-0101 or submit a tip via the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office tip website.