Jersey City police add attempted murder charge and say teen suspect was targeting 16-year-old boy for a second time when bullet hit 5-year-old girl
Saturday, July 24, 2010
By RON ZEITLINGER
DEPUTY MANAGING EDITOR
The Jersey City teen charged with critically injuring a 5-year-old girl with a stray bullet is now charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault in connection with a shooting two weeks earlier, authorities said.
Demetrius Thompson, 18, who is being held in Hudson County jail, accused of shooting young Hasmera Clayton last Friday, struck another person in the arm with a stray bullet after a dispute on Summit Avenue on July 3, Jersey City police say.
The intended target that night, a 16-year-old boy, is the same person Thompson was shooting at when he wounded Hasmera, Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said yesterday afternoon.
On Thursday, authorities added aggravated assault and weapons charges in connection with the July 3 shooting and two counts of attempted murder for the shooting last Saturday, Jersey City Police Chief Thomas Comey said.
"Our detectives, working in concert with the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office, uncovered information tying Demetrius Thompson to the earlier shooting," Comey said.
"Likewise, other details developed in the joint investigation have led to upgraded charges of two counts of criminal attempted murder in the Montgomery Gardens incident. However, these charges do not mean that the case is closed. It's still an ongoing investigation."
Superior Court Judge Kevin Callahan set an additional bail of $500,000 for the new charges, on top of the $300,000 set when he appeared in court for the Hasmera Clayton shooting. Thompson is expected to make an initial court appearance on the new charges next week.
Little Hasmera, who lays partially paralyzed in a Newark hospital recovering after a surgery to remove the bullet, was shot last Friday night at about 10:20 while at a block party at the Montgomery Gardens housing complex. Her shooting has apparently struck a chord in the community, prompting an anti-violence rally Thursday night at the housing complex that drew about 300 people.
Thompson, who police said is known on the streets as "Meaty," was arrested Saturday afternoon at a Bidwell Avenue building. Police said they recovered a weapon when Thompson was arrested.