A Newark man has been charged with murder after allegedly opening fire inside a popular family-owned restaurant Thursday morning, killing one and wounding two others, including an 81-year-old woman.
Mark S. Melvin, 32, is accused of fatally shooting Fuquan Mosley, 39, of Newark, inside a nondescript breakfast spot on 18th Avenue near S. 13th Street at around 10:40 a.m., according to the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.
A woman, who was working at the restaurant, as well as a 42-year-old man were also shot. All three victims were taken to University Hospital, where Mosley was pronounced dead at 11:09 a.m. The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries, while the unidentified man is listed in critical.
Both male victims are believed to have been targeted in the shooting and the motive is under investigation by the Newark Police Department and Essex County Prosecutor's Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force.
Melvin was arrested after Newark police received a call about the shooting and information that he fled the scene in a Dodge Magnum, according to Chief Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Fennelly. Police discovered the car stopped at Avon Avenue and S. 18th Street, at which point Melvin ran from the vehicle.
Melvin, who is currently being held at the Essex County Correctional Facility, has been charged with murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault and weapons offenses. Bail has been set at $1 million by Judge Michael L. Ravin.
A second man was also arrested for outstanding unrelated warrants. That man was not identified by authorities and his involvement in the incident is unclear.
The prosecutor's office identified the restaurant as LC's Place, though it does not have a sign on its storefront. The business is located on the first floor of a three-story brick building across the street from West Side Park in the city's West Ward.
The mom-and-pop restaurant is well-known for items like fish and grits, several people said.
West Ward Councilman Ronald C. Rice, who spoke with police on scene Thursday morning, said he knows the family that owns the restaurant and called the shooting a "tragedy."
"You hate to see this kind of thing happen," he told reporters. "This neighborhood still has its issues but it's coming back."
Kimberly DeHaarte, spokesperson for the City of Newark, released a statement late Thursday expressing outrage over the shooting.
"Although we've taken 639 guns off the street this year versus 418 last year, there are still way too many guns in the wrong hands," she said. "I want extend my condolences to the victims' family and loved ones and want to assure them that our investigators will work to make sure justice is served."
DeHaarte also urged the public to call the police department's anonymous tips lines at 877-NWK-TIPS (695-8477) or 877-NWK-GUNS (695-4867) with any information on Thursday's incident.
[Editor's note: An original version of this story incorrectly listed the address of the shooting. It has since been updated.
This story originally published at 12:56 p.m. It has since been updated.]