Commercial Township, a community of fewer than 5,200 people, was the scene of two brutal slayings over the weekend.
An 85-year-old man was stabbed to death and a 29-year-old man was shot once in the eye in unrelated incidents in the Port Norris and Laurel Lake sections of the rural hamlet.
Eugene Tabinowski of Laurel Lake was pronounced dead about 24 hours after he was stabbed in the head, neck and face, State Police Sgt. Gregory Williams said Sunday afternoon.
Michael Duberson, 40, of Millville, was charged Sunday with murder, aggravated assault and various weapons charges in Tabinowski’s death, Williams said. Duberson admitted knowing the victim and said he had been cutting the man’s lawn for four years, Williams said.
Williams said police responded to Tabinowski’s Spring Road home on Friday night. Police found Tabinowski injured but conscious and able to tell police what happened.
Tabinowski said he was attacked after answering a knock at the door.
He said a white man named Mike had stabbed him and that his attacker was the man who used to cut his grass, Williams said. Duberson was taken into custody later.
Tabinowski also told police his attacker took his 2001 black Hyundai sedan.
Following the stabbing, Tabinowski was taken to Cooper University Medical Center in Camden, where he underwent surgery. He died the following day at 10:54 p.m.
The day after the stabbing, police were called to a Main Street, Port Norris home after receiving a report of gunshots.
They arrived to find Benjamin Broughton, 29, lying in his front yard with a single gunshot wound to his left eye, Williams said Sunday.
Broughton was taken to Inspira Medical Center Vineland but was pronounced dead at 2:04 p.m., less than 10 minutes after police had first arrived.
Broughton’s girlfriend, Sharee Goines, told police that the mother of Broughton’s child, Porschea Young, had been at the house and that the two were engaged in a custody battle.
Goines told police she and Young argued and then Broughton and an unidentified male traveling with Young also got into an altercation.
During the scuffle, Broughton was shot.
Williams said Young and the unidentified man left in Young’s car. The car was later found by police on Route 47 in Millville, but the male suspect was not inside.
Williams said police are pursuing the suspect, but his name has not been released.
“We’re still looking for him,” Williams said Sunday night. “But we know who we’re looking for.”
An autopsy is scheduled for today at Shore Medical Center in Somers Point.
Michelle Brunetti Post contributed to this report.
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