Red Bank Police are investigating four suspected shootings over little more than three weeks that were not previously disclosed to the public, Capt. Steven McCarthy confirmed to redbankgreen this afternoon.
No one was injured in any of the four incidents between July 31 and August 22, and slight property damage resulted in two of the cases. All the shootings occurred on the West Side, and no arrests have been made.
Bullets were recovered in two incidents, and shell casings in the other two. That physical evidence has been sent to he State Police for analysis, and borough investigators are awaiting the results.
McCarthy declined comment when asked why the shootings had not previously been reported to local media. The department periodically issues press releases in connection with noteworthy matters, and fields phone calls on a nearly daily basis from reporters making routine blotter checks.
Late this afternoon, Mayor Pasquale Menna said he, too, had not been told about the shootings by either Police Chief Mark Fitzgerald or Councilman Art Murphy, the governing body’s liaison to the police department. But he vowed to fix that right away.
“If someone doesn’t think it’s important to report a low-impact shooting, that’s got to change, and it will change immediately,” Menna said.
While there may be a rationale for not disclosing matters under investigation to the media, Menna said, not telling him “is unaceptable, and it will stop.”
McCarthy recounted the four incidents as follows:
On July 31, police received a report of gunshots on Drs. Parker Boulevard in the vicinity of South Pearl Street. Police found passersby who said they thought they’d heard firecrackers, but no witnesses reported gunshots and no evidence of gunfire was found.
Eight hours later, however, a homeowner in that area reported the discovery of a bullet lodged in a bathroom wall or other surface; it had entered through a window. Police recovered the bullet.
That same day, police answered a call about the discovery of a possible bullet hole in the siding of a house on Clinton Place. In fact, it turned out to be a bullet hole, and the bullet was recovered.
Further investigation turned up reports from nearby residents that they thought they might have heard a single gunshot the night before, but no one reported the noise to the police at the time.
At 11:37p on August 14, on Montgomery Terrace off Tilton Avenue, police responded to a report of shots fired. Patrol units found residents milling about, and several told police they’d heard the shots, but hadn’t seen any shooters.
Police recovered shell casings nearby. No property damage was seen.
At 10:59p on August 22, police responded to reports of shots fired in the vicinity of Tilton Avenue and Catherine Street. No property damage or witnesses were found, but police recovered shell casings about a block away.
McCarthy said investigators believe two of the incidents “may be related,” but declined to say which ones or why.
redbankgreen asked him how unusual it is to have four such incidents in so short a span in Red Bank.
“Extremely rare,” McCarthy said. “In over 21 years [in the department], I can’t remember anything like this before.”
Chief Fitzgerald did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment.