A Passaic man who was released following a New Year’s Day shooting earlier this year is being sought by authorities for another shooting last month that wounded a 4-year-old child and four other victims at a backyard party.
It’s unclear under what circumstances Ernest Fuentes, 20, was freed after city detectives arrested him on Jan. 5 and sent to the Passaic County Jail in connection with a shooting four days earlier at Third and Mercer streets. No injuries were reported in that incident.
Fast forward to Tuesday, when Fuentes was identified as one of two gunman who opened fire at a backyard party near the corner of Lafayette and Howe avenues shortly before 1 a.m. Nov. 21.
City police who responded found the child along with two women – one 21 from Passaic, the other 25 from Newark – and a 29-year-old Newark man all wounded by gunfire.
They were taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson with injuries that weren’t considered life-threatening.
A fifth victim, a 21-year-old Passaic man, refused medical treatment after being grazed by a bullet, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Passaic Police Chief Luis A. Guzman said at the time.
Both turned to the public for help finding Fuentes. The other shooter wasn’t identified.
Anyone who sees or knows where to find Fuentes is asked to contact Passaic Detective Raymond Rodriguez at (973) 365-3939.
“The public should not try to approach [Fuentes] if they see him,” Valdes and Guzman said in a release.
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