• Gabriel Donio

Shooter is arrested

Berenato in cty. jail after May 6 arrest


Steven Berenato was placed in Atlantic County Jail after May 6 arrest. (Courtesy Photo)

HAMMONTON—Steven Berenato, 43, of Hammonton was arrested at 7:14 p.m. on May 6 by the Hammonton Police Department, who along with officers from the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office affected a search warrant on a residence in the 600 block of 11th Street in reference to the shooting that took place on the 200 block of Peach Street on April 30, Hammonton Police Chief Kevin Friel said. Berenato was picked up as the accused in the shooting, Friel said.


Following his arrest, Berenato was processed and transported to the Atlantic County Jail, Friel said.


An investigation conducted by Officer John Amendolia III with Officer Richard Brown and Lt. Donald Kunen ended in a warrant arrest of Berenato for the following charges, Friel said: seven counts of aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose, certain persons not to have weapons and seven counts of endangering another person.


According to Friel, Berenato, the alleged shooter, was targeting one resident of the house on the 200 block of Peach Street.


“There was a motive directed at a resident of the household. It wasn’t a random act. It was directed at one of the individuals living in the residence on the 200 block of Peach Street. Berenato jeopardized the safety of other people living at that residence and our whole community through his actions of April 30,” Friel said.


Friel said the charges against Berenato were due to his alleged actions on April 30.


“These charges are for shooting a handgun at an occupied residence on April 30. There were six shots at the residence … There are two apartments in the building, one upstairs and one downstairs. I believe the person being targeted lived in the downstairs apartment,” Friel said.


Friel said police had evidence that led to the actions law enforcement took against Berenato on May 6.


“We had camera video and statements of witnesses that led to the formulation of the warrant, search warrant and arrest,” Friel said.


Berenato was arrested, processed and transported to the Atlantic County Jail last week and remains there, Friel said, adding that the police department worked to make sure an arrest was made in a timely and proper manner.


“It’s very important to the Hammonton Police Department to ensure the safety and peace of our community, and we certainly work diligently to ensure that. It’s important to our officers that we’re involved to keep our community safe and they worked skillfully and passionately, putting in extra time to complete this case as quickly as possible, leaving no stones unturned to locate evidence,” Friel said.


Amendolia was the arresting and charging officer, Friel said.


This report is comprised of arrests and investigations made by the men and women of local enforcement. All suspects and arrested are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.