BRIDGETON, N.J. - A second man is facing murder charges in connection with gunfire at a 2021 New Jersey birthday party that claimed three lives and injured 11 other people.
Prosecutors in Cumberland County announced Saturday that 30-year-old Arthur Armstead was charged with two counts of first-degree murder as well as attempted murder, conspiracy and firearms offenses in the May 2021 shooting in Fairfield Township.
Authorities said hundreds of people had gathered for the 90s-themed birthday party when gunfire erupted, killing 30-year-old Kevin Elliott, 25-year-old Asia Hester of Bridgeton and 19-year-old Brailyn Holmes of Millville. Eleven other people ranging in age from 19 to 35 were taken to hospitals for treatment for injuries that ranged from minor to serious.
Zedekiah Holmes, Brailyn Holmes’ brother, was charged in August 2021 with first-degree murder in the deaths of Elliott and Hester.
Prosecutors said Armstead is charged in the deaths of Elliott and Brailyn Holmes. He was charged earlier with obstruction and hindering prosecution. Officials said he reportedly fled to Delaware after the shooting and several days later went to an Atlantic City casino hotel before turning himself in to state police in Bridgeton.
It’s unclear whether Armstead has an attorney; a listed number for him couldn’t be found Saturday.
The Press of Atlantic City reported in 2021 that nine other people were facing charges, one on attempted murder and other charges and other people on firearms offenses or hindering the investigation.