Gunman behind 2019 shooting near Brick Memorial High School pleads guilty
An Asbury Park man responsible for the shooting that took place about a quarter mile away from Brick Memorial High School last October has plead guilty and could spend up to ten years in prison.
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer made the Thursday announcement that 18-year old Alonzo Legrande pled guilty to Aggravated Assault and Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose before the Honorable Wendel E. Daniels, P.J.Cr.P.
Legrande’s guilty plea follows his voluntary waiver of the Family Court’s jurisdiction on September 10 and his further agreement to be charged and prosecuted as an adult in Criminal Court.
At the time of his sentencing on November 20 the State will recommend that Legrande be sentenced to a term of ten years New Jersey State Prison subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act.
Legrande shot a student of Brick Memorial High School on October 22 of 2019 around 1:45 pm as the victim was walking home from school with three of his friends.
He then ran back to the school for help.
As a precaution, Brick Police and school officials locked down the high school as well as neighboring schools and later determined that there was no immediate danger to students.
The victim was treated at Ocean Medical Center in Brick Township and released.
Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Brick Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office reviewed video surveillance footage from nearby residences which depicted Legrande, who was 17 years-old at the time, and Luis Rivas, who was also a juvenile, acting together in carrying out the shooting.
Legrande was arrested on October 23, 2019, and has been in the Ocean County Juvenile Detention Center since his apprehension.
Rivas, who also agreed to be prosecuted as an adult, previously pled guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Assault and is presently scheduled to be sentenced on October 2, 2020.
The State will be seeking a term of five years NJSP subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act against Rivas.
“Our law enforcement partners at the local, county, state, and federal levels, displayed a tremendous amount of teamwork and collaboration to swiftly investigate this crime and bring these individuals into custody. Without this level of cooperation, this horrendous crime would not have been solved, nor would Rivas’ and Legrande’s guilty pleas have been made possible,” Prosecutor Billhimer said in prepared remarks. “The level of coordination and collaboration exhibited by all the officers participating in this investigation was truly outstanding, and I am grateful for their collective assistance which has resulted in two very dangerous individuals being removed from our streets. We will remain vigilant in our efforts to prevent this lawlessness from reoccurring here in Ocean County."
In the November 2019 episode of Townsquare Media Jersey Shore's 'Ask The Chief' (which was LIVE on 92.7 WOBM's Facebook page), Brick Police Chief James Riccio addressed the investigative side of the incident as well as making sure the correct information was being relayed to the public so panic wouldn't ensue.
"Our initial reports and our initial officers responding believe that we had an active shooter at the school but pretty quickly we determined that the shooting actually happened about a quarter of a mile away from the school and that the person that was struck retreated to the school for assistance," Riccio told 92.7 WOBM News. "Just as a precaution we treated it as if the shooting happened at the school, so our officers immediately went in, went to the victim and started rendering aid. A systematic search of the school was then conducted."
There were some challenges in the early part of the investigation as police determined what happened and where.
"It was difficult in the fact that there were so many people to interview, so many witnesses but everybody worked well together and we had a lot of resources come in," Riccio said. "When you get a scene that is that large, you want to make sure that you talk with everybody."
Chief Riccio explains more about the police response to the shooting below: