According to Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio, witness testimonies as well as surveillance tapes recovered from the scene of the crime led investigators to believe that Carlos A. Myrie is the alleged shooter.
"It was a brazen act of violence in broad daylight," said DeFazio, who added that Myrie was released from prison in March of this year after being convicted of distributing drugs within 1,000 feet of a school in Jersey City.
Although it is not clear what caused the initial altercation, a resident from within Hoboken's Housing Authority said that both the victim and suspect were visiting their girlfriends, who are residents of the projects, and happened to meet up at a local liquor store.
The resident said that the two had an argument over a $200 debt that Dixon supposedly owed to Myrie.
Officials could not confirm this statement, saying only that money or drugs could have been a possible reason for the fight.
Myrie entered a plea of not guilty on Thursday.
On Monday Nov. 13, a warrant for Myrie's arrest was issued by the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office as a result of the joint investigation efforts of the Hoboken Police Department and the Hudson County Prosecutor's Homicide Unit.
Two days later, the suspect surrendered himself in the company of his attorney Alfonso Robinson III at the Prosecutor's office in Jersey City.
After being processed and charged with murder, Myrie was taken to the County's Correctional Center in Kearny. Robinson was not available for comment.
Although relieved that the alleged killer had turned himself into authorities, Hoboken's Fourth Ward Councilman Christopher Campos expressed his disgust over the current state of affairs that seems to define some of the youths in the community.
"I'm angry that we haven't found a better way of dealing with our anger rather than pulling out a gun and taking a life," said Campos, who is a product of Hoboken's Housing Authority projects on the west side of town. "This speaks to the wanton disregard that some of our young people have for life."
Another prominent individual in the community who grew up in the city's Housing Authority is Hoboken's Director of Health and Human Services Carmelo Garcia.
"It's a tragic random act of violence," said Garcia, who drew a separation between the Authority and the shooting. "This just happened to occur in our backyard, and is in no way a reflection of those who make up the Housing Authority."
One Hoboken police officer, however, had a very different reaction to the incident that transpired last Friday. "The answer to crime prevention is not having cameras on the scene; it's having cops on the street," said Hoboken's Local No. 2 PBA President Vince Lombardi, who said that if cops were present at the time of the altercation, the shooting would never have occurred. "Video surveillance is not an answer, and it definitely was not a deterrent in this case."
Lombardi said that more police are needed in the area, and that violent crime in Hoboken is rising (see Lombardi's letter to the editor on the letters page of this edition).
In response to Lombardi's comments, Hoboken's Chief of Police Dr. Carmen LaBruno said, "While I respect Vince's position as the union president, I don't concur with his position in regards to this matter. He is right in that we are short of manpower, and hopefully, the city will be in the position to hire new officers. But that decision will be made by the mayor."
Hoboken Mayor David Roberts would not comment on the shooting, according to his spokesman Bill Campbell, who deferred all comments to DeFazio.
The chain of events
According to the manager of West Side Wines and Liquors on Jackson between Third and Fourth streets, the disturbance began when about 30 individuals overwhelmed the relatively small liquor shop. What started with yelling quickly turned physical, as the group of aggressors pushed Dixon around the store, knocking over sales racks in the process.
Fearing the youths would begin to break the liquor bottles, the manager and his employees chased the quarreling party outside into the street, where the manager says there was a scuffle between several individuals, one of whom was Dixon.
What happened next is unclear, except that Dixon managed to make his way to the Big Banner Plaza Supermarket at Fourth and Jackson Streets. While in the store, Dixon was seen by Big Banner's manager placing a call on his cell phone in one of aisles. According to the manager, the victim was heard asking for help from a third party, as a group of individuals gathered outside in the street.
One of those individuals entered the store and called Dixon outside, said the manager, who watched as Dixon followed him into the parking lot.
According to DeFazio, the victim and shooter had another argument in the parking lot, which ended with Dixon receiving one round to the chest from a .357 Magnum revolver.
Dixon initially fell to the ground, but managed to get up and stagger across the street before collapsing near the curb on Fourth Street.
Hoboken's Volunteer Ambulance Corps responded to the scene and took Dixon to Jersey City Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead upon arrival at 1:30 p.m.
The alleged shooter, later identified as 21-year-old Carlos Myrie of Front Street in Jersey City, was seen walking in the direction of the Housing Authority after having allegedly shot Dixon, according to DeFazio, though it is not clear whether he re-entered the projects or not.
Although Myrie has turned himself in and is believed to be the sole actor in Dixon's murder, the investigation is ongoing, said DeFazio who requested that anyone with information pertaining to the shooting call the HCPHU at (201) 915-1345.
Michael Mullins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org