MILLVILLE — Facing the train tracks on Railroad Avenue between Fourth and Fifth Streets sits a memorial with four candles, a pot of white flowers on the grass and about a dozen gray and white balloons tied to a rusted fence, serving as a small tribute to a life taken by gun violence.
The balloons blew in the wind Wednesday while the fence barricaded a yard next to a boarded-up shed and home. The sound of wind chimes whistled and children’s laughter could be heard from an alley a few houses behind the memorial.
In that same cross street, a Salem County man was shot and killed Saturday, Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae said Monday. Police found Abil Hasan, 29, of Penns Grove, Salem County, along the north edge of Railroad Avenue about 1:13 a.m. Saturday.
Hasan was later pronounced dead from gunshot wounds, Webb-McRae said.
Neighbors said the balloons, candles and flowers were put up the day after the shooting.
On Wednesday, authorities had not identified any suspects in the killing, and Webb-McRae said on Thursday there was no additional information to release.
"We’re looking to the public if anyone saw anything, heard anything and no information is too small to consider for the puzzle," Webb-McRae said.
Neighbors on Wednesday talked about how police returned to the area this week to continue investigating.
“I was up in bed and I heard like eight to 10 shots,” said neighbor Michael Whilden, 61, who lives in a Fourth Street house not far from the shooting scene. “It sounded like from the alley behind my house.”
Whilden, who lives with his wife and four dogs, said he didn’t know exactly what happened that night. He said he went outside, but “nothing was moving.”
“No sounds, nothing,” he said. “I knew there was a shooting, but I didn’t know who got shot or if there was actually a shooting.”
The report from the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office confirmed the shooting death.
State crime data show the violent crime rate in the city increased by more than 10 percent from 2015 to 2016 but went down about 28 percent in 2017 compared with the year before.
Whilden, who is also a Millville school board member, has lived on the street for about 35 years and can remember several instances of shootings within the past 10 years.
“It’s unsettling, there are people who have been here for a long time,” he said.
The investigation is being conducted by the prosecutor’s Major Crimes Unit and the Millville Police Department.
Anyone with information should call Sgt. Detective Brian McManus at 856-207-1141.
Staff Writer Maxwell Reil contributed to this report.