Two Somerset men charged in Franklin shootings

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PHOTO COURTESY OF SOMERSET COUNTY PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE
Christopher Williams, left, and Rome Cruz.

Two males have been charged by Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson for ties to two separate shooting incidents in December, 2019.

Robertson and Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor announced the arrest of two Somerset males, Rome Cruz, 20, of Holly Street, and Christopher Williams, 23, of Victoria Drive, in relation to two shootings on Barker and King roads in Franklin Township. Officials reported the Barker Road shooting took place on Dec. 30, 2019, and the King Road shooting took place on Dec. 31, 2019.

Robertson said that during the Dec. 30 incident at approximately 4:30 a.m., Franklin Township Police responded to an emergency call when it was reported multiple shots were fired in the area of Barker Road. Prosecutor’s office officials said detectives from the Franklin police and Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit responded to the scene.

Officials said it was determined that approximately 27 shots were fired at a residence on Barker Road, which was occupied by a resident at the time. No injuries were reported during this shooting incident, according to officials.

Robertson then stated that on Dec. 31 at approximately 2:30 a.m., Franklin police responded to another emergency call when it was reported that multiple shots were fired in the area of King Road. Officials said Franklin police detectives and the county crime scene investigation unit responded to the area.

It was reported that approximately 30 were fired at a residence on King Road, striking a 70-year-old male resident who occupied the home at the time in the leg, officials said. The victim was treated and released at an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to officials.

Officials said detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and Franklin police conducted an investigation into both shootings. As a result of the investigation, which officials said included numerous interviews as well as investigatory leads, defendants Cruz and Williams were identified as two individuals involved in the shootings. Cruz and Williams were both taken into custody at separate locations on Feb. 5, according to officials.

Robertson said Cruz was charged with two counts of first degree attempted murder and one count of second degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. Cruz was lodged at the Somerset County Jail pending a bail detention hearing in this matter, according to Robertson.

The county prosecutor said Williams was charged with two counts of first degree attempted murder and one count of second degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. Williams was also charged with third degree resisting arrest, according to officials. Robertson said Williams was lodged at the Somerset County Jail pending a bail detention hearing in this matter.

In addition to the actions taken by county and local law enforcement, Robertson and Fodor request anyone with information relating to these shootings to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at 908-231-7100 or the Franklin Township Police Department at 732-873-5533 or via the STOPit app.

Officials said 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).