MILLVILLE — A youth basketball coach was gunned down in a middle school parking lot while young children played football.

Joseph L. Jones, 37, of Millville, was shot and killed about 8:15 p.m. Thursday in one of the parking lots of Lakeside Middle School.

At least one masked gunmen then fled in a maroon sedan, firing multiple shots at a police officer on Garden Road and Route 55. Officers were not injured and did not return fire, officials said.

Prosecutors said children in the Millville Midget Football League were in the field when the shooting occurred. County officials have offered the youth league help in providing the children with counseling services.

Investigators believe Jones was the intended target but have not said whether they knew what motivated the killer.

Prosecutors ask anyone with information to contact Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office Lt. George Chopek at 609-381-2046.

Tipsters can share anonymous information with investigators by texting 847411 with CCPOTIP in the message line.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email

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