Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Somerville Borough Chief of Police Dennis Manning announced the arrest of Azikwa D. Rustin, 30, of Somerville.
Prosecutor Robertson stated that on October 26th, at approximately 4:15 p.m., Somerville Police responded to a call of shots fired in the area of Third Street and Center Street.
Responding officers located the scene of the shooting which was processed by the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics Unit.
Somerville Police subsequently learned that an individual identified as Azikwa D. Rustin had been taken to Robert Wood Johnson-Somerset for treatment of a gunshot wound and that he was later transferred to an area trauma center for emergency treatment.
Detectives from the Somerville Police Department in conjunction with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit responded to conduct the investigation.
Prosecutor Robertson stated that subsequent to the Somerville shooting, Franklin Township Police responded to a call of a man who stated that he had been shot while in Somerville.
Franklin Police responded to an area on Easton Avenue where the victim, a 26-year-old, Easton, Pennsylvania resident, was located then subsequently transported to an area trauma center for emergency treatment on a non-life threatening gunshot wound to his leg.
Franklin Township Police contacted investigators in Somerville and relayed the aforementioned incident.
Prosecutor Robertson stated that the investigation has revealed that the victim from Pennsylvania was operating a motor vehicle in the area of Third Street and Center Street, in Somerville when he was approached by two unknown males who opened fire on him while he was seated inside his vehicle.
Investigators have determined that defendant Azikwa D. Rustin was one of the actors who opened fire on the vehicle and its driver.
Investigators are continuing the investigation regarding the identity and whereabouts of the second shooter.
A preliminary investigation has revealed that defendant Rustin was shot in the buttocks by his accomplice during the event.
While investigators are attempting to determine a motive for the shooting, preliminary results are that the victim may have been mistaken for another individual.
Defendant Rustin was subsequently arrested and charged with first-degree attempted murder, second-degree possession of a firearm, second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, and second degree certain persons prohibited from possessing or controlling a firearm.
Defendant Rustin is under police guard at an area hospital and upon his release he will be transported and lodged in the Somerset County Jail without bail pending a detention hearing.
Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor, and Chief Manning request anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 908-231-7100, the Somerville Borough Police Department at 908-725-0331, or the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All calls will be kept confidential.
The charges are merely an accusation and defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.