Kean student shot at fraternity party off-campus
By Tim Awojobi
A Kean University student was shot and critically wounded at a house party on the night of April 17 held by the Kean University fraternity Sigma Theta Chi on Conant Street in Hillside, NJ, about five minutes from the campus.
The victim is an upperclassman who lives in the dorms. Students who know him say he is recovering, but they did not know whether he was still in the hospital. Police withheld his name from the public.
The party was open to Kean University students, as well as their friends. Around midnight, the inside of the house was packed to capacity, filled with students and other Greek members from the university.
“When I came around 11:30 p.m, I barely made it through the front door. There were so many people crowding the house,” said Elizabeth Foy, a Kean psychology student.
The house was an old, mansion-style building on the 200-block of Conant Street where many families live. The surrounding area is very quiet and is also known as one of the “best” neighborhoods in Hillside.
At around 2 a.m, an argument ensued between the fraternity brothers and another man inside of the house, studetns said. The argument turned physical, and then escalated outside onto the front porch of the house.
According to a member of the fraternity, the suspect was asked to leave numerous times, and he did, but returned minutes later with a handgun.
“I heard a couple of sounds, but I thought it was firecrackers or glass breaking,” said a Kean University student.
A spokesman for the Union County Prosecutor Mark Spivey said in late April that he was told a suspect is in custody, but he had no other information.
A spokeswoman for Kean said it cannot comment due to privacy laws. A spokesman for Greek Life at Kean could not be reached by presstime.
The Hillside Police Department said the investigation is ongoing, and urged anyone with information to contact them.
“I just want the students of Kean University to not feel threatened by the situation. I want students to be aware of what is going on and to not be afraid if they have any information in regards to the shooting or the suspect” said a Detective in the Bureau.
A suspect was arrested in connection with the shooting. The Tower went to print prior to the report.