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Prosecutor: Father killed, 4-year-old son injured in Belleville shooting

Neighbors tell News 12 New Jersey that they heard what is believed to be multiple gunshots in the area.

Joti Rekhi

Dec 16, 2023, 10:12 PM

Updated 185 days ago

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A 37-year-old father is dead and his 4-year-old son is in the hospital after a shooting in Belleville, according to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.
Francis Medina, 37, died at Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, a spokesman for the prosecutor said. Relatives of the victims who were on the scene say that the child was shot multiple times in the leg. Officials say the child is in stable condition.
The incident is believed to have occurred at the Exquisite apartment complex on Mill Street which remained blocked off for much of the evening. Investigators could be seen last Saturday evening placing more than 19 evidence markers down in the parking lot of the complex.
Hilda Gonzalez, a nearby resident, described hearing multiple rounds go off, one after another. She says it almost sounded like a machine gun.
“It was one after another. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. Ten shots. At least 10,” said Gonzalez. “It’s worrisome because this has always been a safe neighborhood. Now, we’re a little bit concerned about what’s going on and the people who are renting on this side of Belleville. It’s always been quiet. And it’s not quiet anymore."
Gonzalez has lived in the residential neighborhood for more than two decades and has never experienced anything like this. Police could be seen removing a child-size jacket from the scene as evidence.
“I think we have to take more extreme measures. Because I have an elderly mother living with us and grandkids. My neighbors have kids too, so we have to watch out for each other,” said Gonzalez.
Anyone who may have information about the case is urged to call the Essex County prosecutor's tip line at 1-877-TIPS-4EC or 1-877-847-7432. Calls will be kept confidential.


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