Irvington suffers first homicide of 2019

IRVINGTON, NJ — The township suffered its first homicide of 2019 on Wednesday, March 20, in the middle of the day, just as Irvington’s public schools were dismissing students for the day.

According to Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens and Irvington Public Safety Director Tracy Bowers, authorities are investigating the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Marquise Jenkins, a township resident, in Irvington on the afternoon on Wednesday, March 20.

“Shortly before 3 p.m., Irvington police officers responded to the 1100 block of Clinton Avenue on reports of a shooting,” said Chief Assistant Prosecutor Thomas S. Fennelly of the Prosecutor’s Homicide Unit on Wednesday, March 20. “Arriving units located the victim, who was suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. The victim was rushed to University Hospital in Newark, where he was pronounced dead at 3:27 p.m.”

Fennelly went on to say that the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office is handling the investigation into Jenkins’ homicide with cooperation from the Irvington Police Department.

“This incident is being investigated by the Prosecutor’s Homicide Task Force, which includes detectives from the Irvington Police Department,” said Fennelly. “The investigation is active and ongoing. No further information is available at this time.”

“It’s a travesty anytime someone loses their life for a senseless crime,” said Bowers on Wednesday, Jan. 2, in reference to the last homicide of 2018, which occurred Monday, Dec. 24. “We will continue to work hard in reducing crime as we have over the last four years.”

Bowers said the Public Safety Department and Irvington Police Department have a solid record, when it comes to homicides in town, since Tony Vauss was elected mayor and promised to make Irvington “clean and safe.”

“We had five homicides in 2018. In 2017, we had eight. In 2016, we had four,” said Bowers. “This year, we had an even lower number of crimes than the previous three years, which happened to be the lowest since 1970. That is a tremendous accomplishment.”