BRICK – Mayor John G. Ducey called October 22 his “worst day as mayor so far” after shots were fired near Brick Memorial High School, injuring the arm of a 16-year old student about one quarter mile from the school.
“It was a sad, scary day here in Brick Township,” Ducey said at the start of a council meeting, which was held in the evening of the same day as the shooting.
“A mayor is responsible for the safety and well-being of every single resident here in this town,” he said.
Ducey had been told about the shooting near Brick Memorial High School in a phone call earlier in the day which he said “created fear to go through my body like I’ve never had before.”
As he drove to the scene of the shooting, “I thought, my God, the kids. My God, the police. My God, the teachers,” said a visibly upset Ducey.
He said he knew there was a well-trained school resource officer stationed at the high school, and that students have drills for different codes. “My son, who is 7, tells me about them.”
There was some relief when officials heard the shooter was not in the school. The injured student ran back to the high school because that’s where he knew he’d be safe, Ducey said.
“It is totally unacceptable for a shooting to occur in our great community, especially in broad daylight in front of kids just getting out of school, practicing football on the field,” he said.
The mayor thanked the Toms River and Lakewood Police Departments, Sheriff’s officers and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office for policing the township while the Brick Police Department was at the scene of the shooting.
“There were car accidents happening, there was rain going on,” he said. “They were here keeping us safe, so thank you to each one of those departments.
“Rest assured, the great men and women of this police department and Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office are working tirelessly to make sure whoever that is, pays for the terror they gave every person in Brick, every parent in Brick, and most of all, every kid in Brick,” he said.
Ducey said he was with Police Chief James Riccio earlier in the day when the students were dismissed from Lanes Mill Elementary School.
“Those kids came out crying, they were looking and they were happy to see their parents,” he said. “Can you imagine the terror they went through?”
He said whatever rock the shooter or shooters crawled out from underneath; every resource would be provided to the police to find them.
“Our police will not rest until you are off the streets of our great town,” Ducey said. “Whoever this person is, you are scum and you do not belong in our great town.”
After the shooting, area schools were placed on lockdown and students from Brick Memorial High School were transported to Veterans Memorial Middle School and were released to their parents.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Brick Detective Dan Waleski at 732 262-1170 or the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Denis Mitchell at 732 929-2027.