WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP (Gloucester) — A man was shot and killed during an argument over a dog on Wednesday morning.

Township police found Victor Marrero Jr., 39, dead around 10:25 a.m. in the parking lot of the Birches Apartments on Fries Mill Road around 10:25 a.m., according to the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office Chief of Detectives Thomas Gilbert.

A witness told police that Zachary A. Lahneman, 26, a resident of the apartment complex in the Turnersville section, had shot Marrero following an argument and fight in the parking lot. Gilbert did not disclose the circumstances of the argument.

Marrero lives near the apartment complex, according to Gilbert.

A GoFundMe page created by Sherry Beatty, Marrero's wife, to help with funeral expenses said the argument was over her family's dog.

Lahneman was arrested and charged with murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a weapon. He was being held Friday at the Salem County Correctional Facility.

An autopsy by the Gloucester County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause and manner of death to be homicide by shooting.

Victor Marrero and his family
Victor Marrero and his family (Sherry Beatty via GoFundMe)

Death of a father

Beatty said her husband's death has completely upended the lives of her and their three children.

"Life happens so fast and has taken us by hurricane. We are now going to be relocating during the holidays and can’t even imagine what is going to happen over the next couple of weeks and/or months and need all the help and support we can to move forward and overcome these challenges we are soon going to be facing," Beatty said on her GoFundMe page.

Beatty on her Facebook page said Lahneman threatened to shoot their children if their dog was at the apartment complex.

She described what happened after Marrero was shot.

"My son crying alone looking for his dad until the police showed up at the house. Traumatized children. Uprooted family and dozens of family members mourning a life taken too soon," she wrote. "Rot in hell Zachary Lahneman. You are an example of a waste of a human being and of everyone’s time.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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