A third suspect has been arrested in Ohio and is being held on charges of fatally shooting a New Brunswick resident outside his home more than a month ago, Middlesex County Acting Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Anthony A. Caputo, director of the New Brunswick Police Department, announced Wednesday.
Steven Perez, 19, of New Brunswick, was arrested on Tuesday at 2:25 p.m. at a house in Columbus, Ohio following an investigation by the U.S. Marshals Service, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and the New Brunswick Police Department.
Perez is among three individuals who have been charged with murder and conspiracy to possess a handgun in the death of Rahim Fuqua, 30, who was shot on Seaman Street in New Brunswick on March 1.
Bail for Perez has been set at $2 million. He remains in custody and is awaiting extradition from Ohio.
Also arrested and charged in the shooting are Jonathan Rodriguez, 21, of New Brunswick and Christian A. Peguero, 25, of the Monmouth Junction section of South Brunswick.
Peguero, who was wounded in the right leg during the shooting, was apprehended at Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, where he was treated for the injury. He is being held at the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center in North Brunswick in lieu of $1.5 million bail.
Rodriguez was arrested in Morrisville, Pa. on March 13, 2014. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the adult corrections center.
The three were charged with murder and the weapons offense after an investigation by Detective Brandt Gregus of the New Brunswick Police Department and Investigator Jeffrey Temple of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined that they were the members of a group that fired shots at Fuqua and fled.
Fuqua was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, where he was pronounced dead on March 3, 2014.
Also wounded in the shooting was an innocent bystander, identified as a 34-year-old city resident. He was treated at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital for a gunshot wound to the left arm and was released.
The investigation has determined that Fuqua was the intended target of the shooting, which was not a random act. It also was noted that the house where Fuqua resided has been the scene of prior police investigations.
Fuqua, who was found on his front steps of his home, was armed with a handgun, but it appeared that the weapon had not been fired.
Acting Prosecutor Carey said investigators worked diligently to identify suspects and then trace them. He also thanked the U.S. Marshals Service for its assistance.
The investigation is active and is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Gregus of the New Brunswick Police Department at (732) 745-4217, or Investigator Temple of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-3373.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges filed against Perez, Peguero and Rodriguez are merely accusations and they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.