‘We want justice.’ Family holds vigil for father killed in shooting at Toms River hookah lounge
Authorities in Toms River have shut down a hookah lounge and fined the owners after one person was killed and two others injured in a shooting.
The shooting happened early Saturday morning at Top Tier Hookah Lounge in the Silverton section of Toms River.
Friends and family members have identified the man killed as Nymere Tinsley. He was a father of five. Another victim is in critical condition, while a third was treated and released.
Toms River police say that Top Tier has been on their radar for a while. The business is accused of selling alcohol without a license and hyping up parties on social media to draw in big crowds. Saturday’s shooting was the last straw, and the owners were issued fines and summonses and must appear in court.
A vigil was held Monday evening in Asbury Park where Tinsley was from.
Tiana Shepherd is Tinsley’s childhood friend. She was at the lounge when the gunfire happened.
“You know, having a good time with my friends, seeing my friend the whole night. You know, we turned around, it’s bullets. Everybody running left and right,” she says.
Shepherd says she hustled to get out but would have stayed if she knew Tinsley was hurt.
“It was fear. It was chaos. It was everything. It was like the whole place was caving in. It felt like I was in a movie,” she says.
No arrests have been announced in connection with the shooting. Tinsley’s family is calling for justice. They want the public to come forward with any information.
“I don’t know if you ran past the killer, ran with the killer, got in the car with the killer, or followed the killer – but someone knows the killer,” says Rev. Dr. Ricky Donato, who is speaking on the family’s behalf.
There is concern that the shooting will lead to more violence.
"Somebody knows something, and we don’t really have time to play the snitch game. His mother is hurting, his father is hurting, his children are hurting, and we want justice,” Donato says.
Anyone who may have information is asked to contact Toms River police or the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.