25-year-old Jamaal Barker, who served prison time for drugs, theft and forgery, was visiting an acquaintance Wednesday night when he was shot multiple times and killed.
It happened just before 10:00 p.m. on West Washington Street in Paulsboro, Gloucester County. It is the third murder in Gloucester County this year.
Authorities now believe that Barker is the same man who called police in Ewing, Mercer County several hours earlier to report an attempted carjacking. That man told police two men tried steal his car. When he ran away they shot at him.
The carjacking attempt caught the attention of Ewing police because of another similar incident that happened around the same time: the theft of a minivan. Police want to know if the same would-be carjackers stole Tyeisha Butler's minivan.
Butler left her Chrysler minivan running outside of her mother's house on Homecrest Ave. in Ewing Wednesday afternoon while she ran inside with her infant son. She came out to find the van missing.
"I thought it was a joke at first, I thought it was somebody playing a joke," Butler told Action News. "I just walked in the house, came out and it was gone. Clothes, my baby formula, everything was in the car, I was moving it to my mother's house."
The owner of Buddy's Shamrock Bar has been going through surveillance camera tape from Wednesday. If you look in the upper right near a patch of white sidewalk you can see a man turning toward the area where Butler's van was parked near the time it was stolen.
"It possibly might be related to this so we're going to call the police and have them review the camera," said bar owner Sue Williams.
Butler's van has been recovered, but neighbors are concerned.
"I'm like really shocked because this is a real quiet neighborhood. I mean really tight-knit," said Andrea Hall.
"Certainly when it comes close to home you get kind of fidgety," said Dominic Arruzzo.
Police are not certain if the theft of Butler's minivan and the attempted carjacking of Jamaal Barker are related. They are asking anyone with information about the theft, the attempted carjacking or Barker's murder to contact them immediately.
Investigating the cases are Detective Stacie Lick of the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office at 856-384-5608 and Detective Gary Kille of the Paulsboro Police Department at 856-423-1101.
Tips can also be anonymously text messaged to the prosecutor's office. Text "GLOTIP" followed by your message to CRIMES (274637).