Neighbors are shocked to learn that Nicholas Welch has been arrested for shooting up a party near Seton Hall University, as he was often seen walking with his two young children down the block. Neighbor Leon Drinks told the Daily News, "In reality, he's not that type of person. He's a family man. You never see him without his kids." In his first appearance in Superior Court in Newark, Welch pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder.
Welch was allegedly turned away at the off-campus frat party after not paying the cover charge, after which he received a gun from 19-year-old Marcus Bascus, returned to the party and started shooting at random. Jessica Moore, 19, was fatally shot in the head, and four other party goers were injured. Welch's lawyer, Gerald Saluti, said of his client, "This is a a senseless tragedy. He's still in shock. I can't imagine his demeanor." A woman identifying herself as Ebony also said in the courtroom, "I'm telling you my babies' father is innocent."
Police found forensic evidence tying Welch to the shooting, which occurred just 12 doors down from his house. Several party goers also identified him as the shooter. Police are still searching for Bascus, whom one neighbor described as polite.