2 arrested in connection with 19-year-old’s death in Union

Posted: Updated:
(Photo Credit: Family of Jose Diago) (Photo Credit: Family of Jose Diago)
UNION TOWNSHIP -

A 17-year-old and 22-year-old have been arrested in connection with the shooting death of a 19-year-old man in Union Township, authorities announced Monday.

Officials said Union Police Department patrol units responded to report of shots fired around 2:30 p.m. Sunday in the 700 block of Trotting Road. At the scene, officers found 19-year-old Jose Diago suffering from a gunshot wound. Authorities said Diago was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 17-year-old Union Township resident and 22-year-old Willy Rodriguez-Gil, also of Union, were arrested and charged in connection with Diago’s death following a prompt and thorough investigation, officials said.

The juvenile was charged with first-degree murder and second-degree weapons offenses and was taken to the Union County Juvenile Detention Center.

Rodriguez-Gil was charged with first-degree robbery and taken to the Union County Jail, pending a first-appearance.

Diago’s uncle, Candido Morales-Diaz, told News 12 New Jersey on Sunday that his nephew lost his life because he got mixed up with the wrong crowd.

"He was a great basketball player and then the wrong crowd started coming around him," he said.

Morales-Diaz said his nephew was involved in a gang and had a criminal history, but said he had no idea why someone would shoot his nephew and leave him to die in the middle of a residential street.

Authorities said the investigation into Diago’s death is ongoing.

Anyone with information about his death is being urged to contact Union County Homicide Task Force Detective Sergeant Michael Manochio at 908-966-2287 or Union County Homicide Task Force Detective Richard Acosta at 908-347-0404.

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