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Police Searching for Attempted Murder Suspect in Villas Stabbing

Police Searching for Attempted Murder Suspect in Villas Stabbing

By Christopher South

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VILLAS – Police are looking for a Villas man who is the suspect in a stabbing incident April 3 on Oregon Avenue.

Imani Goodman, 26, is assumed to be at large, as the complain/warrant documents do not indicate he was taken into custody, only that he fled on foot.

Police have charged Goodman, of Oregon Avenue, with attempted murder and other charges for allegedly stabbing his mother-in-law after a verbal dispute, the affidavit of probable cause says.

Lower Township Police Department officers responded to a disturbance at 3:47 a.m. on Wednesday, April 3, after receiving a call from an individual saying his “baby mom” had been stabbed multiple times at the residence.

When police arrived, they found the victim seated in the front passenger seat of a vehicle, covered with blood from multiple lacerations and puncture wounds. Police saw three people in the back yard of the residence, and when they tried to make contact with them two fled, Goodman and his girlfriend, Gabrielle Labaco, 24, who is the victim’s daughter. All three were living at the Oregon Avenue residence.

According to the affidavit of probable cause provided by the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office, officers obtained a search warrant for the Oregon Avenue residence and found the living room in disarray, with broken furniture and items on the floor suggesting that an altercation took place.

Additionally, there was blood all over a couch/bed and bedding, and blood was found all over the bathroom sink, floor and tub. The document said the victim had 17 puncture or laceration wounds as a result of the assault, including wounds to her face, both hands, both arms and back.

The victim managed to barricade herself in a bedroom by pushing a dresser against the door, and at some point she was escorted to a friend’s vehicle without further incident. She was transported to Cape Regional Medical Center for her injuries.

According to statements provided to the police, Goodman had been living with the victim and her daughter for a few months after relocating from Georgia. He and Labaco were reported to have been engaged in a verbal dispute on April 3. Labaco, the report said, told her mother Goodman had raped her and said he was going to kill the victim and Labaco’s father. The attack on the victim occurred shortly thereafter, with Goodman claiming he had “demons,” the report said.

The affidavit of probable cause also says a witness reported hearing Goodman make a statement saying that if the police were called, he would be charged with attempted murder, so he was “just going to kill her all the way” while brandishing a small, blue metal baseball bat. Officers later recovered the bat from the residence.

Goodman has been charged with second-degree attempted murder, second-degree aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, fourth-degree aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, third-degree possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose and fourth-degree knowingly possessing a weapon for unlawful purpose.

Labaco was charged after she attempted to enter the house after being told multiple times not to because it was a crime scene. She was placed under arrest and charged with fourth-degree obstruction of justice and refusal to be fingerprinted, a disorderly persons offense.

Contact the author, Christopher South, at or 609-886-8600, ext. 128.


Christopher South is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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