$5,000 reward offered for information in Somerset County double homicide
NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ (Somerset County) – Crime Stoppers of Somerset County is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification and arrest of the individual(s) responsible for the homicides of two Plainfield residents that occurred on August 13 in North Plainfield, Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson said.
On Friday, August 13, at 8:06 p.m., police responded to a 9-1-1 call reporting multiple shooting victims at the Malcolm Gardens Apartment Complex on Little Place. Responding officers encountered three male shooting victims and immediately initiated life saving measures and requested for emergency personnel and medevac assets while securing the crime scene, Robertson said.
Emergency medical personnel from North Plainfield Fire Department Emergency Medical Services, Medic 1 from Atlantic Health Care, and the New Jersey State Police North Star Medevac all responded to provided critical life saving measures and triage the scene, Robertson said.
Steven Jimenez, 14, was pronounced deceased at the scene and Christian Orellana, 31, was transported by ambulance to an undisclosed trauma center and pronounced deceased, Robertson said.
A 28-year-old was flown to an undisclosed trauma center where he underwent emergency surgery for multiple gunshot wounds. He remains in critical condition, Robertson said.
All three are cousins and Jimenez and Orellana lived together, Robertson said.
Detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, the Crime Scene Investigations Unit, the North Plainfield Police Department, and Investigators for the New Jersey Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office responded to conduct the investigation which remains on-going.
According to Robertson, the investigation has revealed that all three victims were outside on a first floor patio area of the apartment in which one of the male victims resided. The assailant(s) confronted the victims as they were outside and fired multiple rounds within close proximity of the victims, striking all three male victims.
“Detectives are attempting to establish a motive and a description of the assailant(s),” Robertson said.
On Sunday, August 15, the New Jersey Northern Regional Medical Examiners performed a post-mortem examination on Orellana and Jimenez. The Medical Examiner has classified both deaths as a homicide, Robertson said.
Anyone with information relating to the homicide/shooting investigation to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office 908-231-7100 or the North Plainfield Police Department at 908-769-2937 or via the STOPit app. The STOPit app allows citizens to provide anonymous reports including videos and photos. STOPit can be downloaded to your smart phone for free at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, access code: SOMERSETNJ. Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). All anonymous STOPit reports and Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.