UPDATED: Joseph Rossi, Bloomfield Business Owner, Shot Dead
Police investigate homicide at Phoenix Amusements on Floyd Avenue
Joseph G. Rossi, a longtime Bloomfield business owner and former Bloomfield resident was shot dead in his Floyd Avenue arcade and video store at 1:45 pm on Friday afternoon, according to the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.
Rossi, 58, owned Phoenix Amusements at 105 Floyd Avenue, next door to Pete's Place convenience store. He was a resident of Verona.
Late Friday afternoon, the intersection of Floyd Avenue and LaFrance was partitioned off with police yellow tape. Police officers blocked the premises the pinball and electronic game store, while patrol cars and numerous vehicles from the Medical Examiner's office and the Essex County Prosecutor's office surrounded the area.
At approximately 6:00 pm, a body was wheeled out on a stretcher and driven away by officials in a white vehicle.
The front door of the Phoenix Amusements was partially shattered on Friday night but it was unclear whether the damage occurred during the shooting.
At Pete's Place convenience store, the entrance was closed to customers as police officers and an Essex County Prosecutor officer questioned an employee standing behind the counter.
One local source who declined to be named expressed shock at the crime. "This is really bad," he said. "This is a nice neighborhood."
Meantime, two neighbors convened in front of the convenience store, both visibly shaken. One, who said he had know Rossi since 1981 when they were both store owners in town, had been informed of the incident by his wife. "I know the Rossi family for years," he said. "I can't believe this. I talked to him about a month ago. He told me his mother had just passed away."
Rossi had two college-age sons and was divorced, according to the neighbor (both men declined to be identified because of the nature of the crime.)
One of the neighbors had moved away but the other said he still lived in the neighborhood and that it was usually safe. "I walk around here at 5 in the morning. It's always nice and quiet."