Three people were shot early Wednesday during a "shootout" at the Ramada Inn on Route 9 in Toms River, close to the Lakewood border, according to police.
Three men were brought into Kimball Medical Center early in Lakewood Wednesday with gunshot wounds after police discovered a chaotic scene at the hotel, police said.
When police arrived, they observed four or five people climbing out of a second story hotel room window onto an adjoining roof.
Emergency services were on the scene in the building MONOC1 and Southstar responded to airlift the victims.
No names of the victims were made available early Wednesday. As of 9:30 a.m., one victim was still in the operating room, a second was in critical condition and the condition of the third victim was unknown.
The victims were possibly shot during a fight at a New Year’s Party at a Ramada hotel in Toms River. One victim was reportedly shot in the foot, and one in the chest, according to The Lakewood Scoop.
A suspect driving a 4-door vehicle with a partial plate of ZVU, is being sought in connection with the shooting.
The Toms River Police Department issued a statement saying the shooting occurred at 12:55 a.m. at the Ramada near the Lakewood border.
The Toms River Police Department received a call via the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department 911 system. The unidentified caller stated there had been a shooting at 2373 Route 9 in Toms River.
The caller stated there was a shooting victim in one of the hotel rooms in the rear section of the building that contains suites, police said.
Several officers were first to arrive on scene when they encountered several people in the area screaming and yelling, police said.
The police entered the hotel room and found one victim lying on the floor with an apparent gunshot wound. They then found a second victim in another area of the hotel room. Both victims were transported to the hospital, police said.
Additional police officers from Toms River and the surrounding towns of Lakewood and Brick were dispatched to the scene as there were upwards of 30 people in the hotel and hallways and each of the rooms had to cleared for additional victims and suspects, police said.
As officers were on scene at the Ramada Inn, the Lakewood police contacted Toms River authorities and said there was another shooting victim at a hospital in Lakewood apparently driven there by private vehicle.
Lt. Michael Brosnan of the department’s Criminal Investigation Bureau, under the command of Captain Bruce Burgess, responded and coordinated the investigation.
Anyone with information regarding this incident please contact Detective Hull of the Toms River Police Department at 732-349-0150 ext 1291.
Here is a cell phone clip of the Task Force and other emergency vehicles pulling up to the scene in Toms River, courtesy of The Lakewood Scoop.