Co-conspirator behind 2019 shooting near Brick Memorial sentenced to four years in prison
One of the suspects behind a shooting that took place near Brick Memorial High School in October of last year has been sentenced to four years in prison for Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Assault.
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer announced the sentencing on Friday of Luis Rivas, 17, of Brick Township, who also previously entered guilty plea to the charge against him.
Rivas also voluntary wavered the Family Court’s jurisdiction in this matter and agreed to be charged and prosecuted as an adult in Criminal Court.
The investigation from the October 22, 2019 shooting led Detectives to learn that revealed a student was walking home from school with three friends when he was shot about one-quarter mile away from Brick Memorial High School and then ran back to the school for help.
As a precaution at the time, Brick Police and school officials locked down the high school as well as neighboring schools before determining there was no immediate danger to students.
The victim was treated at Ocean Medical Center in Brick Township and released.
Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Brick Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Department reviewed video surveillance footage from nearby residences which identified Rivas and a second juvenile, Alonzo Legrande, now 18, of Asbury Park, acting together in carrying out the shooting.
Their investigation later revealed that Legrande was the individual who actually fired the weapon.
Rivas was apprehended on October 26, 2019, and has been lodged in the Ocean County Juvenile Detention Center since his apprehension.
Alonzo Legrande, who also agreed to waive the jurisdiction of the Family Court and be prosecuted as an adult, pled guilty to Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(1) and Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a on September 17, 2020 before Judge Daniels.
Legrande has also been lodged in the Juvenile Detention Center since being taken into custody on October 23, 2019, where he remains pending his sentencing presently scheduled for November 20, 2020.
“As I have previously stated, our law enforcement partners at the local, county, state and federal levels exhibited outstanding teamwork and cooperation with regard to this investigation,” Prosecutor Billhimer said in a statement.“I am grateful that as a result of the extraordinary efforts of these brave men and women in law enforcement, Rivas has been made to answer for his flagrant lawlessness with this four year prison sentence. And soon, Legrande will meet with his fate as well. Violent and out-of-control behavior will not be tolerated in Ocean County, and those who inject fear and chaos into our neighborhoods – regardless of their age - will be prosecuted accordingly,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.
Chief Juvenile Assistant Prosecutor Anthony Pierro and Assistant Prosecutor Madeline Buczynski handled the case on behalf of the State.
In the November 2019 episode of Townsquare Media Jersey Shore's 'Ask The Chief' (which was LIVE on 92.7 WOBM's Facebook page), Brick Police Chief James Riccio addressed the investigative side of the incident as well as making sure the correct information was being relayed to the public so panic wouldn't ensue.
"Our initial reports and our initial officers responding believe that we had an active shooter at the school but pretty quickly we determined that the shooting actually happened about a quarter of a mile away from the school and that the person that was struck retreated to the school for assistance," Riccio told 92.7 WOBM News. "Just as a precaution we treated it as if the shooting happened at the school, so our officers immediately went in, went to the victim and started rendering aid. A systematic search of the school was then conducted."
There were some challenges in the early part of the investigation as police determined what happened and where.
"It was difficult in the fact that there were so many people to interview, so many witnesses but everybody worked well together and we had a lot of resources come in," Riccio said. "When you get a scene that is that large, you want to make sure that you talk with everybody."
Chief Riccio explains more about the police response to the shooting below: