Shadrach Correa, 18, Daivon Sullivan, 18, and Leyron Jones, 23, all of Toms River. (Photos: OCJ/OCPO)
Shadrach Correa, 18, Daivon Sullivan, 18, and Leyron Jones, 23, all of Toms River. (Photos: OCJ/OCPO)

Following a three week-long investigation into a murder case that was “not easily solved,” prosecutors announced Thursday night that a trio of young men from Toms River have been arrested in the shooting death of a Bayville teen outside a downtown Toms River apartment complex.

Shadrach Correa, 18, Daivon Sullivan, 18, and Leyron Jones, 23, all of Toms River, have been charged with murder and were lodged in the Ocean County Jail. They are also charged with attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

The case stems from the death of Javon Cutler, 19, of Bayville, who was shot in the head while riding in a car with two friends the night of Oct. 11. The group was attempting to leave the Toms River Apartments on Main Street when an individual opened fire on their vehicle, according to police. Cutler, who was seated in the rear passenger seat, was struck in the head as a result. The driver of the vehicle drove directly to Community Medical Center to seek medical treatment for Cutler, who was transferred to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, where he died three days later as a result of his injuries.

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“After a very thorough and comprehensive investigation that spanned the course of nearly three weeks, it was determined that Correa, Sullivan and Jones acted together and in support of one another in carrying out the shooting of Javon Cutler,” a joint statement from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and Toms River police said Thursday night.

Correa was arrested and charged on Wednesday while Sullivan and Jones were taken into custody and charged Thursday. All three men were transported to the Ocean County Jail, where they are currently lodged pending a detention hearing.

“This heinous crime was not easily solved, but our team of professionals demonstrated an unwavering commitment identifying and investigating the individuals responsible for this senseless killing and bringing them to justice,” said Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer, complimenting numerous law enforcement agencies for working closely together on the case. “The men and women in blue literally worked around the clock for nearly three weeks, putting the pieces of the puzzle together with a singular objective in mind: removing these incredibly dangerous young men from our streets.”

The fatal shooting rocked Toms River just as the township is in the midst of revitalizing its downtown area.

“It is extremely unnerving to have something like this happen in our town,” said Toms River Police Chief Mitch Little. “I am so proud of the tenacity and dedication of all of the officers and detectives from all agencies who worked around the clock on this case to restore order and safety to our community.”

The statement did not provide any insight into any motive behind the shooting.

“The residents of Ocean County can rest easier tonight knowing that Correa, Sullivan, and Jones are behind bars due to the painstaking efforts of our law enforcement community,” Billhimer said. “I am extremely proud to work alongside these selfless men and women, and I commend them, as always, on a job well done.”

The case included manpower from an immense number of law enforcement agencies, including:

  • Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit
  • Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force
  • Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit
  • Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Regional SWAT Team
  • Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit
  • Toms River Township Police Department
  • Toms River Township Police Detective Bureau
  • Toms River Township Police Department Emergency Services Unit
  • Toms River Township Special Enforcement Team
  • Manchester Township Police Department
  • Barnegat Township Police Department
  • Berkeley Township Police Department
  • Seaside Heights Police Department
  • Brick Township Police Department
  • Lakewood Township Police Department
  • Jackson Township Police Department
  • South Toms River Police Department
  • Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit
  • New Jersey State Police
  • Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Ocean County Department of Corrections
  • New Jersey State Department of Corrections
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation