Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

4 Charged in Killing of Fairview Man

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

4 Charged in Killing of Fairview Man

Article excerpt

FAIRVIEW -- The illegal card game in a garage apartment was a target. And in less than a half-hour, men brandishing firearms had fatally shot a man, pistol-whipped two others, and fled with jewelry and $1,800, according to a lethal scenario outlined by the police.

"They came in and knew exactly what they wanted to do," Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said on Tuesday in announcing the arrest of four reputed gang members in the Saturday night robbery and death of a 50-year-old Guatemalan immigrant.

Molinelli said police received a call about the incident at 10:55 p.m. Saturday. He said Jeronimo Lopez, 50, had been playing host to an illegal card game.

"Mr. Lopez, we believe he has hosted many of them [card games] before to a point that it became known in the vicinity of Fairview," the prosecutor said.

He said there were about 11 people in the apartment when three armed men entered and forced those present to lie on the floor. At some point Lopez was taken to the kitchen, where he was shot once in the abdomen, Molinelli said. Evens Dumas of Irvington has been charged with first-degree murder.

Molinelli said the suspects took any proceeds there at the time and the personal belongings of others in the apartment.

Lopez's 29-year old son, Erick, who was present during the robbery, on Tuesday disputed that his father ran illegal card games in the apartment. He said his father had invited friends over for a social gathering, which he often liked to do. He said they drank some beers, and a few started to play poker.

"He was very social, and his friends would come visit," Erick Lopez said, speaking in Spanish. "He didn't have any enemies."

Lopez's son said that he was in the bedroom when the men showed up. He was forced to the ground, he said, and clothing was thrown on him.

"When they left, I went to see and saw that my father was hurt," Lopez said.

The elder Lopez succumbed to his wound on Sunday morning at Hackensack University Medical Center. …

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