Two men were arrested yesterday and are now criminally charged in connection with a fatal shooting that took place in Elizabeth last spring, Union County officials announced on Friday.
According to county officials, Leonard Ellison, 36, and Shawn Gilford, 41, are both charged with first-degree murder and three related weapons offenses in connection with the homicide of 42-year-old Robert Owens.
During the early afternoon of Monday, March 30, 2020, Elizabeth Police Department officers responded to the area of 3rd and Livingston streets in the Elizabethport neighborhood, where they found Owens, who had sustained a gunshot wound, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Julie Peterman, who is prosecuting the case. Owens was subsequently pronounced dead.
An investigation led by the Union County Homicide Task Force and assisted by the Elizabeth Police Department, Union County Police Department Ballistics Unit, and Union County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit resulted in Ellison and Gilford being identified as suspects in the case.
According to police, Ellison was arrested in Elizabeth by members of the Prosecutor’s Office and Sheriff’s Office, while Gilford was apprehended at his home in Monroe, after which both were lodged in the Union County Jail pending first appearances and detention hearings to take place in Union County Superior Court.
“I commend the fortitude and dedication exhibited by the investigators who have worked tirelessly on this case these past several months during a time that presented so many other unique challenges acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo said. “Thanks to their efforts we have moved closer to bringing two people to justice for their roles in the murder of Mr. Owens.”
Anyone with information about this matter is still being urged to contact Homicide Task Force Sgt. Christopher Scuorzo at 908-472-0492 or Detective Ryan Kirsh at 908-347-1420.
These criminal charges are mere accusations. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.