NEWARK, N.J. – A Hudson County, New Jersey, man and an Essex County, New Jersey, woman are charged with committing four robberies and two shootings on a single night in Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.
Rodney Williams, 29, of Jersey City, New Jersey, and Siobhan Chandler, 19, of Newark, are scheduled to appear by videoconference today before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark III. They are each charged by complaint with conspiring to rob, and robbing, four businesses and shooting two individuals in Jersey City. Williams is additionally charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition as a convicted felon.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On the evening of Nov. 14, 2021, Williams and Chandler committed four commercial robberies and two shootings within approximately 70 minutes. At approximately 8:10 p.m., Williams entered Store-1, placed a firearm on the clerk’s chest and threatened to kill the clerk. Williams continued pointing the firearm at the clerk, while directing the clerk to give him all of Store-1’s money. Williams fled on foot after the clerk complied.
Approximately 35 minutes later, Williams and Chandler approached Gas Station-1 together. Chandler attempted to enter Gas Station-1’s attendant booth. After noticing that Chandler was not successful, Williams pointed the firearm at an attendant and demanded money. The attendant did not comply. Williams shot the attendant in the chest and stated, “do you think I am f—king playing with you? Give me the money!” Williams then pointed the firearm at the other attendant and threatened to shoot, as the attendant escaped to the attendant booth and locked the door. Williams followed the attendant and tried to force his way inside the booth, as Chandler waited for Williams near the entrance of Gas Station-1. After he could not enter the booth, Williams ran toward Chandler and they fled the scene.
Approximately 15 minutes later, Williams and Chandler entered Store-2. Williams pointed the firearm at the clerk and demanded Store-2’s money. As Williams held the clerk at gunpoint, Chandler emerged from the aisle and stood near Williams and Store-2’s clerk gave Williams money from the cash register. Williams and Chandler exited Store-2 on foot.
Approximately 10 minutes later, Williams and Chandler entered Restaurant-1. Williams immediately approached the clerk at the register, pointed the firearm at the clerk’s chest and demanded money. The clerk, believing Williams’ demand was not serious, failed to immediately respond to Williams’ demand. Williams attempted to shoot the clerk, but the firearm misfired. Williams then re-cocked the firearm and shot the clerk in the chest. Williams then forcibly entered the restaurant’s kitchen and demanded money from the employees. Chandler remained at the doorway and ordered one employee out of the restaurant and barred a patron from entering the restaurant. As Williams forced the wounded clerk to empty cash from the register, Chandler yelled, “Let’s go! Let’s go!”
At approximately 9:20 PM, Jersey City Police Department officers observed the defendants in a motor vehicle near Restaurant-1. Upon observing law enforcement, Williams drove the vehicle into oncoming traffic, striking a police vehicle and rendering his vehicle inoperable. The officers immediately apprehended the defendants.
Williams and Chandler are subject to a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each charge of robbery and a maximum potential penalty of life in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each charge of possessing, carrying or using a firearm during a crime of violence. Williams is further subject to a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for the charge of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited officers of the Jersey City Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director James Shea, and the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Esther Suarez, with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jamel Semper of the Organized Crime and Gangs Unit and Kimberly Mitchell of the OCDETF and Narcotics Unit in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the criminal complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.