NEWARK, N.J. (Diya TV) — A suspect has been arrested and is now facing charges in connection to a shooting that left Rutgers University student Shani Patel dead, and seriously injured his roommate.
According to authorities, first responders were called to an apartment which resides above a popular university hangout around 10 p.m. on Sunday, where they found Patel, 21, with a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His roommate, a 23-year-old graduated student of Rutgers whose name has not yet been released, was also shot, authorities said. He was taken to the hospital, where he remains in stable condition, police said.
Marcus Feliz, 25, of Newark, was taken into custody by police in connection with the shooting and was charged Wednesday morning with with murder, felony murder and robbery, officials said. Feliz’ bail is set at $750,000. The Essex County prosecutor’s office said Feliz is not a student of the university, and is not affiliated with the school in any way.
Officials have yet to confirm the circumstances of the shooting, but police have said the shooting is being investigated as a possible drug robbery. A substantial amount of drugs and money were found at the scene of the shooting. Peter Englot, the Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs and Chief of Staff at Rutgers-Newark, said that although the shooting occurred off campus, and police believe it was not a random act, “an incident like this causes us to have a heightened awareness in the neighborhood.”
Before the shooting occurred, Englot said the university had already began instituting enhanced safety measures for students, including hiring additional police officers, and expanding the school’s shuttle service. With the news that this crime could have been a drug deal gone awry, Englot said the school also focuses efforts on curbing student drug use.
“We’re aware that, as with universities around the country, there are people of college age who have issues of drug use,” he said.
“We do take care to make students aware of the dangers of drug use. That’s where we focus.”
The investigation is still ongoing, and no further information is available at this time.