BRICK – The entire community is on edge and in shock after a 16-year-old boy was hit by a bullet while he was walking home from school. The incident prompted a lock-down of all Brick Township schools, road closures and sent many concerned residents to social media for information – some of it completely inaccurate – while media outlets attempted to get the full story on what actually happened. Police have also not confirmed who they are looking for, although a reliable social media page has posted a description of the possible suspects based on police scanner chatter.
Brick Township Police were quick to quell the rumors that it was a school shooting. Brick Police Sergeant Jim Kelly told Jersey Shore Online and other media outlets that their department responded to Brick Memorial High School at 1:47 p.m. on Tuesday. School Resource Officer Timothy McCarthy was on scene and officers in the area responded immediately. A school crossing guard in the area at the time alerted police.
Kelly said the shooting did not occur inside the school but the victim did run inside Brick Memorial for help. The boy sustained a grazing wound to the arm and was taken to Ocean Medical Center, according to Police Chief James Riccio. His parents joined him a short time later. The boy is expected to make a full recovery and his injuries were minor.
Students from Brick Memorial High School were transported to Veteran’s Memorial Middle School and were released to their parents.
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer said “the response from law enforcement was swift and professional during a time of great concern. Detectives from my office, Brick PD and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office will be interviewing witnesses and following leads well into the night. This is an active, ongoing investigation.”
According to a joint press release issued by the Prosecutor’s Office and Brick Police, the investigation revealed that the victim was injured approximately one quarter mile from the school and ran into the school gym. As a precaution, area schools were placed on lockdown.
Police Chief Riccio said “I’d like to commend the students, teachers and administration from all of the schools involved. Everyone from the bus drivers to the custodians were calm and cooperative. We are currently investigating all leads and whether or not this incident is related to Saturday’s incident.”
According to the New Jersey Incident Network, police have not captured the suspects and they are considered to be armed and dangerous, although neither the Prosecutor’s Office or Brick PD would confirm that.
The NJ Incident Network said Police are still looking for 2 black males the first is described to be between 17-20 years old wearing Black Pants Black hoodie with white Nike sneakers.
The second black male is reported to be heavy, heavy set wearing a grey hoodie and black sneakers white souls last seen running towards Sawmill Road. Once again, that is also unconfirmed by the authorities.
The probe is being conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Brick Township Police Department and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Brick Detective Dan Waleski at 732-262-1170 or Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Denis Mitchell at 732-929-2027.
Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief Riccio would like to thank the Brick Township Police Department, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, the New Jersey State Police, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, Toms River Police Department, Lakewood Police Department, Bay Head Police Department, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Department, Lakewood EMS, and MONOC for their coordinated assistance in this matter.
Kimberly Bosco and Judy Smestad-Nunn contributed to this story.