UNION, NJ — Two Union residents have been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old man that occurred on the afternoon of Sunday, Oct. 8, on Trotting Road, authorities said.
Police found Jose Diago, of Union, dead when they arrived at the 700 block of Trotting Road near Galloping Hill Road on the border with Roselle Park, after receiving reports of shots fired around 2:30 p.m, acting Union County Prosecutor Thomas Isenhour said in an Oct. 9 statement.
A 17-year-old juvenile was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and weapons offenses, and Willy Rodriguez-Gil, 22, was charged with first-degree robbery in connection with the incident, authorities said.
The prosecutor’s office gave no motive for the shooting, but Union Police Director Dan Zieser was quoted in a published report as calling it “an isolated drug deal gone bad.”
Zieser could not be reached to confirm that report. It was the second homicide in Union this year following the fatal stabbing of 59-year-old Michael Adams on Van Ness Terrace. His son Jeff Adams. 20, was charged in the killing. There were two homicides in Union in 2016, Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Mark Spivey said.
The juvenile, who authorities did not identify, was taken into custody and transported to the Union County Juvenile Detention Center, where he was being held, authorities said.
Rodriguez-Gil was arrested and taken to the Union County Jail pending a first appearance in court.
The two were charged after an investigation by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Task Force, the Union Township and Mountainside Police Departments and Union County Sheriff’s Office, authorities said.
Authorities urge anyone with information about this incident to contact Union County Homicide Task Force Detective Sergeant Michael Manochio at 908-966-2287 or the Union County Homicide Task Force Detective Richard Acosta at 908-347-0404.