KEANSBURG — A 19-year-old borough man has been charged with the murder of a 20-year-old college student Thursday afternoon.

John Curtin, 19, a resident of Woodland Avenue, was arrested overnight after he surrendered to police in New York City.

Prosecutors said he shot and killed Evan Smutz inside his Center Street apartment about 12:48 p.m. after getting into a fight with him.

Authorities did not publicly reveal what the fight was about.

John Curtin (via Facebook)
John Curtin (via Facebook)

Curtin is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree felony murder, first-degree robbery, second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, and second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

Police found Smutz with a gunshot wound after responding to a 911 call. He was pronounced dead at 1:21 p.m.

Evan Smutz
Evan Smutz (YouTube)

Smutz graduated from Keyport High School in 2016 and played football and baseball. His Gridiron Classic bio said he was attending Brookdale Community College.

Curtin was expected to appear in Superior Court in Freehold Borough at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Prosecutors ask anyone with information to call Detective Ryan Mahony of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 800-533-7443 or Detective Sgt. Joe Redina of the Keyport Police Department at 732-264-0706.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email

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