The shooting of Rutgers-Newark student Shani Patel in early April of this year left many in the Newark community unsettled. After seven months of ongoing investigation, the Essex County prosecutor’s office has announced that two men have been indicted for the murder of Shani Patel.
The tragedy has worried the Newark community. The shooting happened on Central Avenue, a street traversed by many students on their way to class. NJIT has yet to deal with a similar situation with the murder of a student outside of his fraternity house earlier this year, which has been cause for alarm. The police departments that service the area have thankfully tried their best to prevent these sort of tragedies. Unfortunately, events like these tend to cast Newark in an unfair light for the majority of people, even though Newark is a growing and vibrant town.
The shooting occurred at the Central Avenue and Halsey Street intersection at the off-campus private residence Patel shared with a twenty three year old Rutgers alumnus. Neither of the two men attended Rutgers or the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The date of the suspect’s next court appearance has not yet been set. Investigators found a large amount of marijuana and cocaine at the residence, meaning that drugs were being sold at the home of the deceased student. Ramirez and Feliz targeted the Patel residence for robbery and the process turned violent. At the time of the murder, Rutgers students were advised about the event, but were told the act did not represent any danger to the rest of the student body.
The two suspects Marcus Feliz and Fraynned Ramirez have been indicted with nine total charges including robbery, murder, aggravated assault, and weapon related felonies. Feliz is currently in police custody since his arrest two days after the shooting, but his accomplice has evaded the authorities since the event. There is a $10,000 reward placed on any information that leads to his capture.
Contact the Essex County Prosecutor’s office via phone at (877) 847-7432. Feliz is still at the Essex County Jail under a $750,000 bond.