FREEHOLD – A Monmouth County Grand Jury has returned a 31-count indictment against a man and a woman charged in connection with three attempted murders taking place over a span of four days, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Wednesday.
Kahniaha X. Dean, 25, of Neptune Township and Ishawn A. Collazo, 26, of Long Branch are both charged with three counts of Attempted Murder (1st degree), three counts of Conspiracy to Commit Murder (1st degree), four counts of Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (2nd degree), two counts of Possession of a Firearm while Committing CDS Offenses (2nd degree), and one count of Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance with Intent to Distribute (2nd degree).
Dean is also charged individually with one count of Aggravated Assault by Pointing a Firearm (4th degree), one count of Making Terroristic Threats (3rd degree), six counts of Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (2nd degree), and one count of Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (2nd degree). Collazo is also charged individually with five counts of Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (1st degree) and four counts of Certain Persons not to Have Weapons (2nd degree).
At approximately 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday, December 29, 2021, officers from the Neptune Township Police Department responded to a report of shots being fired on the 400 block of Fisher Avenue and located several spent 9mm shell casings; moments later, they discovered an adult male shooting victim in a nearby parked vehicle. The victim was subsequently transported to Jersey Shore Regional Medical Center for treatment.
Shortly after 10 p.m. on Saturday, January 1, 2022, members of the Neptune Township Police Department responded to the 300 block of Neptune Boulevard for another report of shots being fired, and upon arrival, they discovered another adult male shooting victim. Additional 9mm shell casings were recovered at the scene, and the victim was transported to Jersey Shore Regional Medical Center for treatment.
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Following review of evidence recovered at the scene, investigators determined that another incident had taken place only minutes earlier at a nearby apartment on the 2000 block of Milton Avenue, where an assailant attempted to shoot the same adult male who had been shot days earlier. The assailant’s gun jammed, however, and the masked shooter fled the scene – leaving behind a live 9mm round that had been ejected from the gun.
A joint investigation by the MCPO Major Crimes Bureau, the Neptune Township Police Department, and the Long Branch Police Department resulted in Dean and Collazo being identified as suspects in all three incidents. The investigation also revealed that the day before the first attempted murder, that same shooting victim was threatened by Dean at gunpoint in a park in Long Branch, but no shots were fired.
Dean and Collazo were arrested shortly after 11:45 p.m. on Friday, January 14, 2022, when members of the Woodbridge Police Department (Middlesex County) responded to a report of a man brandishing a gun outside a nightclub on Lafayette Road and conducted a traffic stop of their vehicle. A search of the car revealed a loaded handgun under a seat, and the investigation subsequently determined that it was the same weapon used in each of the shooting incidents; also recovered from the vehicle was a large amount of cocaine, drug distribution paraphernalia, and a loaded submachine gun with a folding stock.
This case has been assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Michael Luciano.
If convicted, these defendants would face up to 20 years on each first-degree criminal charge, as well as up to 10 years on the second-degree charges.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendants have all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.