Trio, Teen Nabbed For Paterson Shootings: Prosecutor

Three men and a teenage boy have been arrested for two shootings, Passaic and Paterson officials announced on Saturday, June 29. 

Steven Batista (bottom left) Issac Mejia (right) and Gabriel Mercado (top left).

Steven Batista (bottom left) Issac Mejia (right) and Gabriel Mercado (top left).

Photo Credit: Passaic County Prosecutor's Office

Gabriel Mercado, 23 of Lodi, NJ;  Issac Mejia, 23 of Paterson, NJ; Steven Batista, 20 of Malden Massachusetts; and a 17-year-old boy from Paterson, NJ were charged in connection with non-fatal shootings in April and June, officials explained in the release. 

Mercado and Mejia were arrested during a traffic stop by members of the New Jersey State Police Violent & Organized Crime Control North Bureau in conjunction with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tabacco, Firearms, and Explosives, on Thursday, June 27, as detailed in the release. 

They were charged with Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, Possession of a Weapon during a CDS Offense, Possession of CDS, Possession of CDS with the Intent to Distribute, and Possession of a High-Capacity Magazine, according to the release. 

Mercado was also charged with the following in connection with a June 4 shooting: Attempted Murder, Unlawful Possession of Handgun, Possession of a Handgun for an Unlawful Purpose, Aggravated Assault, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.

That shooting of a 29-year-old Paterson man happened at approximately 10:51 p.m., on a Tuesday in the area of 10th Avenue and East 23rd Street. The man was taken to St. Joseph’s University Medical Center for treatment of non-fatal gunshot wounds.

"The subsequent investigation revealed that Mr. Mercardo was responsible for the shooting," as stated in the release. 

Mercardo already had charges pending from a shooting in the area of Lyon and Mercer streets, Paterson at 3:14 p.m. on April 17 — no injuries were reported. 

For that incident, Batista, and the aforementioned teen were charged. Batista was charged with Attempted Murder, Unlawful Possession of Handgun, Possession of a Handgun for an Unlawful Purpose, Possession of a Large Capacity Magazine, Joyriding, Obstruction, Hindering, and Tampering with Evidence. And the teen was "charged with acts of juvenile delinquency," as stated in the release. 

"The State previously filed for detention for Mr. Batista. On April 30, 2024, a Superior Court Judge granted the State’s Motion for pre-trial detention," officials said.

The State has filed motions for pretrial detention for Mercardo and Mejia.

More details are expected to be released at a later date so check back here for updates. 

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