Additional Arrests Made in Connection to May 1 Paterson Homicide

 Photo Credit: Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office


Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Paterson Police Chief Ibrahim Baycora have announced, that based upon an investigation by the Paterson Police Department, in conjunction with the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, Ismael Leon, 19-years old from Paterson, and a 17- year-old juvenile male from Clifton, were arrested on September 10, 2021 in relation to the homicide which occurred on May 1, 2021 in the area of Totowa and Redwood Avenues in the City of Paterson. Mr. Leon and the 17-year-old male were charged with Murder, first degree; Conspiracy to Commit Murder, first degree; Possession of a Handgun for an Unlawful Purpose, second degree; and Unlawful Possession of a Handgun, second degree.

On Saturday, May 1, 2021, at approximately 6:57 p.m., members of the Paterson Police Department were dispatched to the intersection of Totowa Avenue and Redwood Avenue in Paterson, New Jersey in response to a report of a shooting. Upon their arrival, officers located Jose Figueroa, 21-years-old from Newark, lying in the street with apparent gunshot wounds. Mr. Figueroa was immediately transported to St. Joseph’s University Medical Center where he was later pronounced deceased. The subsequent investigation revealed that the shooting was a coordinated attack involving multiple shooters in multiple locations, and that Leon and the juvenile were involved in the planning and execution of the shooting. Previously, on June 1, 2021 Chelsee Ramirez, 19-years old from Paterson, and another 17-year-old juvenile male, also from Paterson, were arrested and also charged in connection with Mr. Figueroa’s murder.

Leon is currently in custody at the Passaic County Jail and the juvenile is in custody at the Essex County Juvenile Detention Center in Newark. The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office has filed motions for the pre-trial detention for both defendants which will be heard by a Superior Court Judge at a date and time to be determined by the Court.

The crime of Murder has a sentencing range from a minimum of 30 years up to life imprisonment; Conspiracy to Commit Murder has a sentencing range of 10 to 20 years in prison; and the crimes of Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, second degree, and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, second degree, both have a sentencing range of 5 to 10 years in prison with 42 months to be served before parole eligibility.

Criminal and juvenile delinquency complaints are merely accusations. Despite these accusations, the defendant and the juvenile are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The investigation remains active and ongoing. More information will be released once it becomes available.

The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office asks anyone with additional information about this incident to contact us on our tips line at 1-877-370-PCPO or or contact the Paterson Police Detective Bureau at 973-321-1120.