Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

1 Hurt in Clifton Inn Shooting

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

1 Hurt in Clifton Inn Shooting

Article excerpt

CLIFTON -- A person was shot in the face and throat at the Howard Johnson Inn on Route 3 on Friday morning, drawing a response from a SWAT team whose members, with guns drawn, evacuated a portion of the four-story hotel, according to interviews with hotel guests.

Police offered few details about the shooting, which they said occurred around 10:30 a.m., or about the victim, who they said was taken to St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson. The person's condition was not known, and authorities did not provide additional information beyond saying that the incident remained under investigation.

A hotel guest, Rosa Cintron, 21, said she was asleep in room 326 when she heard someone banging on a door in the hallway around 10:30 a.m. and causing a "commotion." She said she opened the door to find someone bleeding profusely from the face and throat.

"I'm asking her if she's OK," Cintron said, describing the scene. "And she's like, 'Somebody shot me.' And she was very bloody. Face was bloody. Throat was bloody. So I called the police. They came as soon as possible."

Cintron said that when she asked the victim who had pulled the trigger, the victim gave no response. Cintron said that she and a friend tried to apply pressure to the wounds to stanch the bleeding until an ambulance arrived.

"Last time I checked, she was in surgery," Cintron said on Friday night about the gunshot victim.

The door handle to room 325 was covered in dried blood on Friday night. Blood was splattered on the walls and curtains in the hallway leading to the nearest stairwell, and there were large blood stains in the carpet.

Another hotel guest, Darlene Fox of Philadelphia, said she became aware of the shooting only when there was a knock on her door around 11:15 a.m.

"I look out and an AK is pointed at me," she said, guessing at the type of gun that the SWAT team members at the door were holding. "I was scared as death."

Fox, who was staying on the third floor, said that members of a SWAT team moved her and her sister to the end of the hallway, where they were told to stay behind yellow police tape.

The SWAT team then went door to door clearing guests out of their rooms, she said. …

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