EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — The fatal shooting of an Atlantic City man inside the Howard Johnson Inn on the Black Horse Pike sparked a dramatic manhunt that spread to two homes in neighboring Pleasantville on Sunday afternoon.
Kaneil Harris, 21, was found dead by staff in a hotel hallway at about 11 a.m. No arrests have been made at this time. Harris would have been 22 next Saturday.
The investigation brought several tense hours to Pleasantville, where police from multiple departments in Atlantic County surrounded two homes in the 800 block of Broad Street and on Willard Avenue with their high-powered rifles out.
Pleasantville police Chief Jose Ruiz said five people overall were detained for further questioning, and referred all other questions to the Prosecutor’s Office.
Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain would not comment on that, but said information would be released when and if there was an arrest.
At the Broad Street home, at least three people emerged from the building with their hands in the air, were handcuffed and led to police cars about 1 p.m. The home is near the South Main Street Elementary School.
Police were heard several times on a loudspeaker asking anyone else in the home to come out with their hands up.
More than two hours later, nearly a half-dozen officers with guns drawn and bullet shields raised ascended the front stairs and entered the home as a growing crowd of at least 50 onlookers watched from about 60 yards away, creeping closer by the minute.
Officers emerged about 10 minutes later from the home, which appeared to have been empty.
Meanwhile, at the Howard Johnson Inn, yellow police tape stretched across the entire length of the two-story hotel as investigators and police spent much of the afternoon there.
This was the second homicide in Egg Harbor Township in a little more than a month. The first killing also had Pleasantville ties.
Harris was just released from prison last month after serving nearly two years on charges of weapon possession, receiving stolen property and eluding police, according to state Department of Corrections records.
Curtis Watson, 20, who lived in Pleasantville, was fatally shot Oct. 8 inside a room at the Courtesy Inn in the township's Cardiff section.
Randal Scott, 21, was charged in that crime.
Donald Capriotti, Scott’s co-defendant in a separate case, was shot during a manhunt in West Atlantic City last week in which a K-9 dog was injured.
A flier warning police about Capriotti before the shooting indicated he was linked to a recent homicide, having rented the room where the killing took place.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office Major Crimes Unit at 609-909-7800 or Egg Harbor Township police at 609-927-5200. Information may also be called in anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234.
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