CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY — A state corrections officer is accused of lying to investigators about a fatal shooting and turning a blind eye as others tampered with the crime scene.
Rickey Muse, 33, was at a barbershop in the 1200 block of Haddon Avenue when a passing van was riddled with gunfire, according to the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office. A 17-year-old in the van, Reynaldo Morales, was killed and two others were injured.
Muse failed to call 911 after the shooting and allegedly gave false information to homicide detectives, according to prosecutor’s spokesman Jason Laughlin.
He said Muse also did not act as someone removed shell casings from the sidewalk outside the Supreme Barber Shop. Muse did not remove the evidence himself but was “aware it was happening and did nothing to prevent it,” Laughlin said.
He said Muse, who identified himself as a corrections officer, initially told investigators he neither saw nor heard anything. However, the city man later changed his story.
“It’s offensive that a law enforcement officer, who has the affirmative duty to report any information regarding a crime, would act like a street thug by providing false information,” Prosecutor Warren Faulk said in a statement. “Such conduct will not be tolerated.”
Muse, a six-year veteran most recently assigned to a Trenton facility, was charged with hindering apprehension after turning himself in to police, Laughlin said.
A representative of the state Department of Corrections could not be reached for comment.
Laughlin said Muse was a regular customer at the barbershop, which was itself shut down after the shooting.
Authorities have said the shop is believed to have connections to Bloods gang factions believed to be responsible for three homicides last week, including the death of Morales.
Investigators believe the deadly violence began July 10 when 27-year-old Ralph Carstarphen was gunned down near Roberts and Royden streets in the Cooper Plaza area.
The next day, two masked men fatally shot 19-year-old Jovan Aponte in the 800 block of Walnut Street around 3 p.m.
Four hours later, the gunfire erupted outside the barbershop, killing Morales.