By: Michael Mandarino, Follow South Jersey Managing Editor
FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Larry McCrae, the third person arrested in connection with the mass shooting at a house party in Fairfield Township that took place last month, has been released from prison pending trial.
McCrae, 39, helped plan the May 22 birthday party in which three people were killed and 11 others were injured by gunfire. A judge ordered McCrae’s release from prison because of his cooperation with investigators and apparent lack of involvement in the shooting. He, like two other suspects in the shooting, was initially arrested on gun-related charges.
Police found two weapons in the back of McCrae’s car during their investigation into the shooting. Authorities obtained a search warrant for the property that included vehicles parked on the premises, which is why McCrae’s guns were found in the back of his car. He kept his weapons, which are a .25-caliber semi-auto handgun and a .38-caliber revolver, in his car to protect himself after a shooting he was involved in two years ago.
“I didn’t have [the guns] on me the whole time at the party,” McCrae, who works at a nursing home, said via video while a judge reviewed the evidence regarding his arrest. “I just forget they was in there.”
The two other men arrested after the shooting were Darrell and Kevin Dawkins. Both men were arrested on gun charges, and Kevin was also charged with attempted murder for allegedly firing a handgun in response to the shooter’s initial barrage of gunfire. Kevin isn’t accused of hitting anyone with his gun, though, and the two step-brothers are being held in jail pending trial on their charges.
Asia Hester, 25, and Kevin Elliott, 30, were killed at the scene of the shooting on May 22. Brailyn Holmes, 19, died at a Camden hospital two days after the shooting took place. Eleven other people were injured in the shooting, and no one has been charged with the three killings at this point in time. No motive for the shooting has been revealed, either, but New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said that it was a “targeted attack” at a press briefing on the weekend of the shooting.
Authorities are urging any community members who attended the party to assist in their investigation by sending videos or photos from the party to investigators. Anyone who wishes to submit videos or photos to be used in the investigation into Saturday night’s mass shooting can do so anonymously here. You can also submit evidence or tips anonymously by calling the New Jersey State Police’s Bridgeton Station at (856) 451-0101 or reaching out to the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office’s tip hotline by visiting its website.
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