On Saturday, May 26, 2018, at approximately 2:40 p.m. the Manchester Police Department received a call from a concerned citizen who reported that a suspicious black sport utility vehicle was driving around the Pine Lake Park recreational area located between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Just as that information was being received, a 24-year-old South Toms River man came into Police Headquarters to report that a black male driving a black sport utility vehicle had just shot out the passenger window of his vehicle. The male stated he was in the vehicle with his two friends and that the incident occurred at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Hannibal Street. The male reported that no one in his vehicle was struck by the bullet but that he did receive injuries as a result of the shattered glass. The victim was transported to Community Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries and was subsequently released.

Patrol officers who had initially been dispatched to the report of the suspicious vehicle responded to the area of the recreation center. When officers arrived and checked the area, the suspect vehicle was gone. While in the area, the officers received information about the suspected shooting at which point they located shattered glass and one spent .380 shell casing in the vicinity of Fifth Avenue and Hannibal Street. As a result, the scene was secured and additional investigative resources were called in to assist with the investigation. This included detectives from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigations (CSI) Unit as well as members of the department’s Investigations Bureau.

Investigators conducted an extensive neighborhood canvas and through the use of information supplied by witnesses as well as security camera footage obtained from the recreational area, they were able to identify the suspect as, 18-year-old, Lakovian Shepherd Jr. of Toms River. Additionally, they were able to identify the vehicle as a black Nissan SUV.  

As a result of the investigation, Detective Craig Beaulieu charged Shepherd with two counts of attempted murder, two of aggravated assault, one count of unlawful possession of a weapon and one count of possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose. At the time that he was charged, Shepherd’s whereabouts were not known.

Investigators, working through the day and night on Sunday, May 27th, eventually located Shepherd at a convenience store on Washington Street in Toms River. With the assistance of the Toms River Police Department, Shepherd was taken into custody without incident. His black, Nissan Rogue was subsequently located in Island Heights and impounded as part of the investigation. After being processed for arrest, he was transported to Ocean County Jail in accordance with NJ Bail Reform.