Serra Hall BB gun sniper suspects identified

The names of two former Serra Hall residents arrested April 29 in two BB gun sniper incidents have been released by the South Orange Police Department.

The police report identified sophomore Joseph Omelio and senior Stefan Petrella as the two Seton Hall University students were charged in the incidents.

Police said Petrella fired a BB gun from the window of their third-floor residence hall room at people walking by and that he and Omelio then hid the gun off campus. The two victims named in the report were sophomore Toni Leigh-Young, who told police she was passing Serra Hall when she heard several pops and then felt a pellet hit her left ankle. The second victim identified was sophomore Dan Matrisciano.

“Both victims refused medical treatment,” police reports said.

Security Manager Trace Herzog went to Room 1310 of Serra Hall to speak with suspects Omelio and Petrella, according to police reports.

Police reports said Omelio claimed he “walked into the room when Petrella was firing out of the window.” After the shots were fired, according to the report, Omelio told police he and Patrella went to 55 Ward Place and hid the firearm on a shelf in the garage.

Police said Petrella admitted firing the gun from his room down at a group of people and hitting a female specifically.

Police said Petrella was placed under arrest while police officers brought Omelio to Ward Place where they found the gun and a half jar of pellets hidden on a shelf in the garage. Omelio was then placed under arrest and brought to police headquarters, according to police.

Omelio was charged with unlawful possession of a handgun, hindering apprehension or prosecution, and conspiracy.

Petrella was charged with aggravated assault for bodily injury with deadly weapon purposes, unlawful possession of weapons with a firearm in an educational institution, hindering apprehension or prosecution, conspiracy, possession of a firearm for unlawful purposes and unlawful possession of a handgun.

Author: Staff Writer

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