If you’ve ever gone out for the night, chances are you’ve been denied entry to a club at one point or another. Most people either walk away disappointed, try to convince the bouncer to allow them entry or pick a fight with the bouncer. Anthony Fields, 19 at the time, took it to a whole new level after he was denied entry at Slick’s Go-Go Bar in Irvington, NJ on Christmas Day.
On Christmas, 2013, Fields was told his underage behind couldn’t get into Slick’s by bouncer Woodley Daniel, 32. The reportedly intoxicated Field didn’t take that well and got into a heated argument with Daniel when manager Pierre Clervoyant, Jr., 34, came out to try and quell the situation.
It was at that moment that Fields pulled out a gun and began firing. Ten shots later and Daniel, Clervoyant, and an acquaintance of Field’s, Mushir Cureton, 27, were killed. Two additional patrons were injured but recovered.
This shooting was the end of a very bloody year for Essex County in New Jersey. There were 144 homicides that year, up 20 percent from the year before. Less than 24 hours after the Slick’s shooting, two teenagers in Newark were shot and killed, including a 13-year-old girl hit by a stray bullet as she was doing the simple chore of taking out the trash.
Ten days before the Slick’s shooting, a 30-year-old Hoboken attorney was killed in front of his wife during a carjacking at the Mall at Short Hills in Millburn. An 18-year-old college student was killed by a stray bullet the following weekend in Newark. Slick’s may have been a tragedy, but not something out of the norm for Essex County.
Fields fled shortly after the shooting to his mother’s house in Florida. Thanks to help from the FBI, Field was arrested with no incident, being held on a $2 million bail while he was extradited to New Jersey.
For this crime, an Essex County judge sentenced Fields to a total of 99 years in prison for the triple homicide and the non-fatal injuries of the other two. Superior Court Judge Martin G. Cronin stated that Fields’ actions reflected a sentence “that deters others from even imagining our society condones that kind of conduct.”
Fields had been given consecutive sentences for each of the deaths, with a notably lesser sentence for Cureton’s death. Since both Field and he were acquaintances, it was argued by Cronin that his death was not an intended, nor expected, result of the indiscriminate shots fired by Fields. But that’s the consequence of firing your gun into a crowd, isn’t it?