North Plainfield gang member indicted in shooting that wounded young boy

A Union County grand jury indicted Jose Rodriguez, 18, of North Plainfield, in connection with a street shooting that left a 5-year-old boy seriously injured in January.

Prosecutors say the child was walking with his mother near Plainfield Avenue and South Second Street at 4 p.m. on Jan. 10, when Rodriguez — a reputed member of the 18th Street gang — allegedly fired several shots from a .22-caliber handgun at members of the rival MS-13 gang.

None of the other gang members was hit, but a stray bullet struck the child in his face, police said. Authorities do not believe the child or his mother were the intended target of the shooting.

The mother rushed her son to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, where he was hospitalized for several weeks, Authorities say the child ‘s injuries were not considered life-threatening, and he has recovered from his wounds.

Plainfield police, working with the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, sought the public’s help in identifying the shooter.  Rodriguez was arrested at a Piscataway residence within days of the incident.

The grand jury indicted  Rodriguez Friday on charges of attempted murder and weapons possession offenses, said acting Union County Prosecutor Grace Park.


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