Fatal Montclair Shooting Rumored To Be Drug-Related Robbery, Officials Won’t Confirm

Brian Schiavetti, 21, of Ridgefield, Connecticut, was identified as the victim in the fatal Montclair shooting on Williams Street on July 23, but the question of why the Villanova student was in Montclair remains unanswered. Earlier this week, shortly after Ernest Williams, pled not guilty to charges of murdering Schiavetti, the Star Ledger reported that two unnamed law enforcement officials with direct knowledge of the case confirmed Schiavetti was shot multiple times during a drug-related robbery.

Yesterday, Thomas Fennelly, Essex County chief assistant prosecutor, said the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office (ECPO) would not comment or confirm what unknown sources are saying. “Shot during a robbery attempt is the only statement we are making,” said Fennelly.

In a statement the day after the murder, Anthony Ambrose, Chief of Detectives, ECPO, said “it appears the victim was targeted.”

Fennelly says that by targeted, it means the fatal shooting was not a random event.

Montclair Police Chief David Sabagh said of the unnamed sources, “Montclair PD did not make the statement, not sure where it came from.”

A unnamed source from the William Street neighborhood told Baristanet that the money involved in the robbery was drug money, alleging that the “kid from Pennsylvania came up to acquire drugs from the kid from Montclair.”

Crime scene photo: James Fitzhenry

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  1. “A unnamed source from the William Street neighborhood told Baristanet that the money involved in the robbery was drug money, alleging that the “kid from Pennsylvania came up to acquire drugs from the kid from Montclair.””

    Now that is regular get in the gutter and get dirty investigative reporting. I can picture it like a scene out of Baretta where Tony works Rooster to get ‘the dirt’.

    Great job b’ville thanks for the inside scoop.

  2. Not sure if’n you’re funning’ us herb, but drugs were the most obvious answer to the unanswered “what was this University student doing ‘down there'” question.

    Sad, but it’s the first thing I thought of….

  3. A why should we believe an “A unnamed source from the William Street neighborhood” when Baristanet has given no indication of how or why this “source” could know anything whatsoever about the case? This could be simply a busybody with a hot rumor. Being “from the neighborhood” does not vouch for veracity.

    This is the worst kind of shoddy journalism.

  4. Well, lets face it… what else could this kid from CT have been doing in an apartment building on Williams Street? The possibilities are rather limited, none of them good.

  5. “A why should we believe an “A unnamed source from the William Street neighborhood”? ”

    —um, because this “source” is saying the same thing that the “nnamed law enforcement officials with direct knowledge of the case” are saying in the Star Ledger article?

    “This is the worst kind of shoddy journalism.”
    —then why do you waste your time reading it and commenting on it? Fox News awaits you, ROC…

  6. It just seems weird that he would come all the way to Montclair for drugs. There were a zillion places in between to stop. The only other drug related reason I could think of is that he was a higher level distributor though I doubt that as well.

  7. It’s not weird that he would come to Montclair for durgs because he was obviously set up with this individual, when buying drugs one does not generally seek out random people on the street

  8. Also why do you doubt that Ernest Williams may have portrayed himself as a higher level distributor, he could have easily told this kid to meet him in Montclair to purchase a hefty quantity of whatever. Shooting someone over a $20 bag of drugs is unlikely to happen.

  9. Whether or not the robbery was ‘drug related’ is immaterial.

    Maybe Brian was going to meet someone he hooked up with on the internet. As we all know the human male will travel vast distances for the chance of mating with a human female.

  10. It is an interesting question (provided the speculation is true) why on earth a summer intern in NYC would head out specifically to Montclair to buy drugs. Why not more “traditional” and certainly better publicized marketplaces for controlled substances such as Washington Heights, Harlem and Newark? Let alone the Philadelphia area he presumably knew better? Or even Camden (a city seemingly almost completely given over to the devotedly felonious come nightfall, definitely the murder capital of the East Coast)?How and why does such “word” spread? This is one that local residents might especially want answered, and very soon.

    But to term the item above “investigative reporting,” herb, is simply ridiculous. It is what it is: someone who claims to have inside knowledge making an as-yet unsubstantiated claim, then seeing it published here. But it is no more than that. The world is full of sources “from the neighborhood,” but they’re rarely ever fully reliable.

  11. Regardless of what you may think about drug dealings people do not just go to “Ghettos” seeking out random drug dealers and Montclair is certainly not the type of place to do that. Almost all of the time drug deals are orchestrated events which is why I say it is highly likely that Brian was set up to meet Ernest through some kind of mutual friend of sorts. That’s how drug dealing works, it does not necessarily say a single thing about Montclair being any kind of hot spot to find drugs on a whim.

  12. Oh my. Cathar… your comment (3:48) seems amazingly naive to me. It’s obvious why a white kid from CT would come to Montclair as opposed to those other places to buy drugs. Put yourself in his place and tell me if you would venture to those urban areas.

    Why come here? He felt safer here (unfortunately he was wrong). He would not appear out of place here wearing shorts, sandals and a tie-dye. And most likely… He knew someone here. There are plenty of kids in our town fitting that description who are smoking pot or more than that.

    Perhaps there is another young person from Montclair who attends or has attended Villanova? Or works a Thomson Reuters? Or ____? Fill in the blank with your connection. Know someone who knows someone who says they can score ? Boom. That gets him here easily.

    What got him shot? Well, the rumor I heard was they he stiffed somebody over drugs. Rumor, yes. Source? Ultimately through a grapevine of college students to parents to me. Plausibility factor? High, given that two guys got out of a car and walked into the building “seemingly” as friends. And very quickly, one gets offed.

    I’d say this was payback for a previous deal that went unpaid. That the other party (the connection to Montclair) or cell phone records very quickly pointed to Mr. Williams, and the police were onto him immediately.

    The truth? I don’t know. But this is the Internet, where everything is speculation, opinion, rumor, disinformation and more. These comments are not journalism, but they are the media we live with today.

    Nothing is truth, except that it’s unfortunate what happened to this kid. He played with fire. I have deep sympathy for his friends and family.

  13. Seems he was dealing in significant quantity. As I have.speculated here before, the environment here in town provides for the easy association of those on the fringes of criminal activity, and those for whom it is more of a full time occupation. To a self confident college kid, given the opportunity to conduct this type of activity in Montclair would not given raised the same levels of concern as to have been invited to consummate a drug deal in Irvington or Vailsburg. More like Portchester, where the Fairfield County kids go to buy beer when the bars have closed in CT. Portchester is to Greenwhich, as the 4th Ward is to Montclair.

  14. In the world of illicit drugs, three things can get you severly beaten or even killed: 1. ratting someone out, 2. stealing money or drugs, 3. failing to pay a debt. It’s a very simple and violent world. Anyone dumb enough to break one of the above rules is risking their life and limb.

    The last time I purchased ‘weight’ was on behalf of about 15 of my dorm-mates from Eaton Hall at the Univ. of Miami in Coral Gables. A dormmate and I had about $2,500 in cash to purchase 5 kilos of Columbian. When we got to the dealers place we sat down on the floor in front of a coffee table that had a big pile of weed on some newspaper for sampling and effect. It looked impressive and smelled like pu**y. The dealer emerged from his bedroom, sat down on the sofa, and took a gun out of his back waistband placing it on the table in directly in front of him. Message received.

    We were sampling the goods, hanging out for the requisite half hour or so – no dealer will ever allow a buyer to come and go if he is conducting business from his or an associates domicile. Even making the moves like you want to leave can create major tension. You also had to sample some of the product to demonstrate your non-affiliation with law enforceent.

    We concluded business, departed with barely concealed haste and headed back to the dorm to distribute the contraband. The adrenaline rush that these events precipitated in me was one of the most intense rushes I can every remember having.

    In the aftermath of this ‘transaction’ I crashed and berated myself for volunteering to do the thing. The chemical reaction my own body produced led me to realize the money is just a small part of the reason people do this stuff.

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