3 arrests in murder of Woodbury, NJ gas station attendant

WOODBURY, N.J. - October 22, 2013

22-year-old Cordero Hodge of Camden, 24-year-old Isaiah Williams of Woodbury, and 22-year-old Jameel Pierce of Camden are charged in the death of 40-year-old Surinder Singh.

It was around 9:00 p.m. and Singh was working alone at Garden State Fuel in the 900 block of North Broad Street in Woodbury.

Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean F. Dalton said the suspects pulled up to the gas station with the intention of robbing the attendant, but when Singh resisted, Hodge allegedly opened fire.

Singh sustained one fatal gunshot wound to the chest.

The trio fled the scene.

Hodge is charged with murder, felony murder, complicity in a crime, conspiracy to commit robbery, illegal possession of a weapon, and robbery. He is being held on $1-million bail.

Williams and Pierce are charged with felony murder, complicity, conspiracy, and robbery. Both are being held on $750,000 bail.

It is not clear if anyone will collect the $5,000 reward posted in this case. However, Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean F. Dalton said, "There was never one tip that led to the breaking of this case and the arrest of the three individuals responsible … Rather, it was the culmination of good police work day in and day out building on various information which led to the arrests being made."

Singh, who had two small children, was from India. Like so many other American success stories, he worked hard at the store for more than 10 years. The owner eventually brought him and his brother in as part owners.

In New Jersey, the gas station business can be a dangerous one since this state is one of only two in the country that requires attendants to pump gas.

New Jersey Gasoline, Convenience Store and Automotive Association urges its 1000 members to light up the outside of their stores, install surveillance cameras and don't let attendants keep a lot of cash on them.

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