Man shot to death while leaving Vineland Wawa

·2 min read
Police are investigating a fatal shooting at a Wawa in Vineland.
Police are investigating a fatal shooting at a Wawa in Vineland.

VINELAND - Authorities say a man was shot to death while leaving the Wawa at West Park Avenue and North Delsea Drive Thursday night.

According to the Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office, Luis Rivera, 23, of Pine Street in Vineland, died from gunshot wounds sustained while exiting the store.

Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae said the incident "does not appear to be a random act."

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Around noon Friday, there was no sign of a crime scene and the Wawa at 501 N. Delsea Drive had reopened for business.

Longtime Vineland resident Bernadette Thomas-Lunsford, a regular at this Wawa, was using the air fill station Friday and unaware of the prior night's deadly shooting.

"This is ridiculous, this is so sad," the 56-year-old mother of seven said. "My youngest turned 24 on Christmas, so possibly he could have played ball with this child. Oh my God, it's just crazy."

Thomas-Lunsford, who has called Vineland home for 28 years, said the incident would not dissuade her from visiting the store where the fatal shooting occurred.

"I'm not going to live in fear, you can't," she said, before pointing to the sky and adding, "He's going to take care of me, right there.

"I hate to use this word, but it's almost becoming normal," Thomas-Lunsford continued. "If you turn on the TV or read the newspaper and you don't see a killing, it's like, really? I mean, come on guys, this is getting ridiculous."

The fatal shooting remains under investigation, according to Webb-McRae.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Vineland Police Department Det. Christopher Fixler at 856-460-0806 or Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office Major Crimes Unit Detective Paul Panchesine at 856-332-6233.

Information also can be provided anonymously by visiting www.vpd.tips or www.ccpo.tips from any smartphone, computer or tablet.

A South Jersey native, Anthony Coppola has handled a variety of beats at The Daily Journal, Courier-Post and Burlington County Times, including award-winning work in sports and business coverage. Coppola, who joined the staff in 2008, now focuses on regional education reporting. Please consider supporting local journalism with a digital subscription.

This article originally appeared on Vineland Daily Journal: Man shot to death as he left Vineland Wawa

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