Two Charged With Felony Murder in Connection to Shooting in Egg Harbor Township
Two men have been arrested and charged with felony murder, robbery, and weapons offenses in connection to the fatal shooting of 24-year-old Arturo Barrera III in Egg Harbor Township earlier this year.
Authorities say 26-year-old Leonard B. Ludwigsen, Jr., of Egg Harbor Township, has been charged with first-degree Felony Murder, first-degree Robbery, second-degree Conspiracy, second-degree Possession of Weapons for Unlawful Purposes (Firearm), and second-degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Handgun).
28-year-old Neco J. Pitts, of Long Branch, Monmouth County, is facing those same charges plus second-degree Certain Persons Not to have Weapons.
Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner says,
At 11:20 p.m., on Thursday, January 2, 2020, Egg Harbor Township Police received a 911 call with a report of a shooting at 109 Vermont Avenue. When police arrived they found Barrera– a male resident of the home–who was the victim of multiple gunshot wounds.
On January 2, 2020, an eyewitness stated that two armed men in masks entered his residence. The men pointed the guns at the eyewitness and victim, at which time dogs started barking and moving towards the masked men. Simultaneously, Barrera stood up and the two men began firing, ultimately killing Barrera. The two men then fled the home. Barrera was pronounced deceased at the scene.
On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, Ludwigsen was taken into custody at his Egg Harbor Township home, charged and he is lodged at the Atlantic County Justice Facility. Pitts was charged and is lodged in the Monmouth County Jail on an unrelated matter.
Tyner said in a statement, "I want to commend the detectives of the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, along with our local, state, and federal partners, for their diligent and tireless effort to investigate and identify those responsible for the murder of Art Barrera, Jr. more than fifteen months ago. Our investigation has determined that this was not a random incident."
Tyner continued, "I have said it before, but it bears repeating; if someone has, or intends to, commit a murder in Atlantic County, our detectives and law enforcement partners will never stop searching for those responsible. This dogged determination runs throughout the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office and while some cases may take longer than others to resolve, the public should know that we never stop working to make our community safe."