2 Jersey City Men Charged in Federal Court For Roles in May Shootout

The United States District Attorney’s Office announced today the charges against two Jersey City men for their roles in connection with a May 23, 2021 shootout in Jersey City.

TWO HUDSON COUNTY MEN CHARGED FOR ROLES IN JERSEY CITY SHOOTOUT

NEWARK, N.J. – Two Jersey City, New Jersey, men who were involved in a shootout made their initial court appearances today on charges that they possessed ammunition as previously convicted felons, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Shamir Blunt, 35, and Mark Franklin, 29, are charged by criminal complaint with one count each of being felons in possession of ammunition. Blunt and Franklin made their initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer in Newark federal court and were detained.

According to documents filed in this case:

In the early morning hours of May 23, 2021, Blunt was standing on the sidewalk in front of a bodega in the Grove Street area of Jersey City. Franklin parked across the street. Franklin got out of his car, and the two men started arguing. Blunt walked to the bodega and opened the door. Franklin followed him.

As Blunt entered the bodega, Franklin punched him in the face several times. The two struggled until Franklin pulled a gun out and fired a shot. Police later recovered a 9-millimeter shell casing from Franklin’s gun inside the bodega. Franklin then left and put the gun back inside his hoodie.

Emerging from the bodega, Blunt ran at Franklin and shot at him twice from close range. Franklin fell to the ground, and then he pulled out his own firearm and returned fire. The two men continued to exchange gun shots from across the street.

Franklin and Blunt shot at each other over 15 times, and both men were hit. They eventually got in their cars, sped away, and went to Jersey City Medical Center where police later found each of their cars parked outside. Police also collected their clothing from the hospital, which matched the clothing they were wearing during the firefight.

Police also later found at least nine 9-millimeter shell casings from Franklin’s gun and at least four 9-millimeter shell casings from Blunt’s gun. They also found several bullets lodged in parked cars and in windows of nearby businesses.

At the time, both Blunt and Franklin had at least one prior felony conviction.

The felon in possession of ammunition charges carry a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited task force officers of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey L. Matthews, with the investigation. She also thanked the Jersey City Police Department for their assistance.

The government is represented by Acting Chief of the Violent Crimes Unit Jason S. Gould of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Defense counsel:
Blunt: Emily Sherman Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark
Franklin: James R. Lisa Esq., Jersey City