Two men charged in Linden homicide

LINDEN, NJ — Authorities investigating the shooting of Linden resident James Garner on Thursday, June 25, have charged Aziz Howard, 35, of Carteret, and James Gilford 20, of Elizabeth with first degree murder and weapons offenses, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced last week.

According to Park, at approximately 11:20 p.m. on that date, Linden Police Department patrol units responded to a report of shots fired on the 300 block of Price Street and found Garner, 37, suffering from fatal gunshot wounds. He was transported to a local hospital, where he was subsequently pronounced dead.

Following an investigation by members of the Union County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Task Force and supported by members of the Linden Police Department, Judge William Daniel of the Union County Superior Court signed complaint and arrest warrants for Howard and Gilford, charging each with first-degree murder and second-degree weapons offenses.
Bail for each defendant was set at $2 million. Howard was arrested at his last known address in Carteret and transported to the Union County Jail.

However, Gilford evaded capture and remains on the run.

He is described as a black male, approximately 5 feet 7 inches, weighing approximately 160 lbs., with black hair and brown eyes, and goes by the alias “Baby James.” Anyone who sees or comes in contact with Gilford is cautioned not to approach him and to call 9-1-1.

The Union County Crime Stoppers are offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to Gilford’s arrest and indictment. Tips can be given anonymously by phone at 908-654-8477, via text message by texting “UCTIP” plus a message to 274637, or online at

Anyone with information about Garner’s death, or Gilford’s whereabouts is urged to contact Union County Homicide Task Force Detective Sergeant Kevin Grimmer at 908-447-3777 or Union County Homicide Task Force Detective William Bizub at 908-418-2817.