MAYS LANDING – A Somers Point man was charged today with murder, in connection with the shooting death of a 26-year-old Absecon man inside a store in Atlantic City last week, Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Diane M. Ruberton announced.
At approximately noon on Thursday, September 1, 2016, Atlantic City Police responded to the Zumiez store, Tanger Outlets—The Walk, at 2010 Christopher Columbus Boulevard, Atlantic City, for multiple 9-1-1 calls. Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit responded to the scene. New Jersey Transit Police and New Jersey State Police also responded and assisted at the scene.
Upon arrival, police found store employee Christopher Romero, 26, of Absecon, NJ, the victim of gunshot wounds.
Located across Christopher Columbus Boulevard inside the White House Black Market store, police found Luis A. Maisonet, 55, of Somers Point, suffering from a gunshot wound.
Both Romero and Maisonet were transported by emergency medical personnel to the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center—City Division. Romero was pronounced dead at the hospital, at 12:47 p.m. Maisonet was hospitalized in critical condition.
Romero’s next-of-kin were notified.
The investigation by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Atlantic City Police Department determined that Maisonet entered Zumiez, shot Romero, left the scene, and pointed the handgun at another person before shooting himself inside the White House Black Market store.
Today, Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Diane Ruberton authorized the following criminal charges against Maisonet:
- Murder, for purposely or knowingly causing the death of Christopher Romero—a crime of the 1st degree,
- Aggravated Assault, for knowingly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of life pointing a firearm in the direction of another—a 2nd degree crime,
- Possession of a Handgun for an Unlawful Purpose—2nd degree,
- Possession of a Firearm, while prohibited from doing so pursuant to a prior
domestic violence order—3rd degree, and
- Unlawful Possession of a Handgun without a permit to carry—a 3rd degree crime.
Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Donna M. Taylor set bail on Maisonet at $1,000,000 cash / no 10%.
Atlantic County Major Crimes Unit detectives arrested Maisonet today at the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center—City Division, where he remains, guarded by law enforcement officers.
A 1st appearance in court is scheduled for September 12, 2016 at 1:00 p.m.
A conviction for murder carries a potential sentence of incarceration in New Jersey State Prison for a period of 30 years to life. The potential prison sentence for a 2nd degree conviction is 10-20 years of imprisonment. A 3rd degree conviction carries a potential penalty of 3-5 years.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at (609) 909-7666, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-658-TIPS (8477), the anonymous (confidential) tip line 652-1234, or text TIPCOP plus your tip to 274637.
These charges are merely an accusation and not proof of guilt. In all criminal cases, a charged defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at http://www.acpo.org/tips.html and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page. People can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234 or 1-800-658-8477 (TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at http://www.crimestoppersatlantic.com/. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.