Authorities Identify 18-Year-Old Columbia High School Student as Homicide Victim, No Arrests Yet

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The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office has identified the victim of a fatal shooting at Underhill sports complex last night as 18-year-old Moussa Fofana, a Columbia High School junior, member of the soccer team and former Maplewood Middle School student. CHS Principal Frank Sanchez, Superintendent Ronald Taylor and MMS Principal Dara Gronau have all reached out to school community members to offer support at this time.

See the full press release below.

“Moussa was adored and cherished at MMS,” said Suzanne Fein, one of his Maplewood Middle School teachers. “Our community is devastated to learn of this tragic loss of a beautiful soul. Nothing pleased Moussa more than human connection. A student who never went without a thank you and a kind smile, grateful for all who engaged with him. A positive light in our world has dimmed, and our hearts are forever saddened.”

Although CHS Principal Sanchez reports that the school district is awaiting permission from Fofana’s family to coordinate an official school community fundraising effort, a soccer teammate named Frederik Hoffman is coordinating a GoFundMe that has already raised more than $30,000. Wrote Hoffman on the GoFundMe: “I am fundraising for Moussa Fofana’s family so that they can recover from their tragic loss and cover funeral expenses or any other burdens that came with this tragedy. We played soccer together for Columbia and played pickup games at under hill this young man was so bright and had big aspirations of becoming a professional soccer player, the community and I are lost for words. I am in contact with Moussa’s family and close friends and will make sure the money is given directly to them. Please donate whatever you can as every dollar will help Moussa’s family. All of the money will be going straight to the Fofana family. Long live Moussa.”

Visit the GoFundMe here.

Moussa Fofasa at South Mountain Youth Soccer Recreational League

Moussa Fofana

Moussa Fofana

Moussa Fofana (Facebook)

Read more from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office:

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II, and Maplewood Police Chief Jim Duval announced today that the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force is investigating a fatal shooting that occurred Sunday night in Maplewood. 

At approximately 9:38 pm on Sunday, June 6, Maplewood police officers were dispatched to area of Underhill Field on Garfield Place on reports of a shooting. Arriving officers located a male suffering from a gunshot wound. The victim, who has been identified as Moussa Fofana, age 18, of Maplewood, was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:24 pm. A second male victim was treated at an area hospital for a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. 

 No arrests have been made at this time. The investigation is active and ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force at 1-877-TIPS-4EC or 1-877-847-7432. 

Calls will be kept confidential.

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