PLEASANTVILLE — Scott Godfrey, a Pleasantville High School graduate and former member of the school’s football team, was fatally shot outside a West Park Avenue convenience store Monday night, authorities confirmed Tuesday.
Godfrey, 21, a resident of the 100 block of Bayview Avenue in Pleasantville, was shot at 9:18 p.m. Monday outside Hany’s Food Market, Atlantic County Prosecutor Ted Housel said Tuesday.
Police arrived and found Godfrey on the floor inside the market, Housel said. He was pronounced dead at 9:35 p.m. by Dr. Eric Wolk of AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, who read Godfrey’s vital signs after they were sent electronically from the scene.
An autopsy conducted Tuesday morning found Godfrey died of gunshot wounds to the chest, back and leg, Housel said.
No suspects have been arrested, and the Major Crimes Unit and Pleasantville police are investigating, Housel said.
Godfrey was a running back and linebacker for the Pleasantville High School Greyhounds, and was given an honorable mention in the Best of the Press for the 2006 football season. He graduated the following summer.
Police said Godfrey had fallen into trouble in the years following graduation, and he may have been connected to other recent crimes in Pleasantville.
Major Crimes detectives snapped photos and studied vehicles parked along West Park Avenue on Tuesday, searching for evidence about how the shooting happened.
Store owner Hany Hashem said the incident involved two young men. Hashem said he didn’t see the shooting, but heard the shots fired. The victim limped into the store.
“I looked down, and he was dead,” Hashem said. “I couldn’t help him.”
Hashem said he didn’t recognize Godfrey, and called 911.
Police arrived, blocking off the intersection of West Park Avenue and Broad Street with crime-scene tape. Neighbors gathered and relayed information to others through their cell phones.
An ambulance and medics from AtlantiCare left the scene at 9:41 p.m. with no victim inside. Pleasantville fire crews also visited the scene.
One man broke through the yellow tape at the scene Monday night and was immediately wrestled to the ground and arrested by the officers. Pleasantville police had no further information Tuesday about that arrest.
Officials stayed at the scene until midnight, at which point Hashem started cleaning the store, which took most of the night. By 7:24 a.m. Tuesday he was unlocking the front door. The regulars walked inside, buying lottery tickets. One man puffed on a thin cigar. Another customer poured Hashem a coffee.
A stream of schoolchildren poured into Hany’s, buying bags of Doritos, juice containers and snack cakes, walking past the spot where Godfrey took his final breaths just hours earlier.
“You OK?” they asked Hashem.”You alright? What happened?”
Hashem wiped away the sleeplessness from his eyes and smiled. One girl gave Hashem a hug.
Hashem said he sees the students or thinks of his own children, and considers that any of them could have been struck by a stray bullet. Gunfire has become more frequent in Pleasantville this year — this is the 18th shooting of 2010, and the second homicide, compared to 16 shootings in all of 2009.
The violence is escalating as the city plans to lay off police officers as a cost-saving measure, something that concerns Hashem.
“We should be adding police officers, not getting rid of them,” he said. “How many kids gotta get shot or die before they realize that?”
Staff writer Derek Harper contributed to this report.
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