Manhunt underway after barrage of bullets fired into home of 2 N.J. cops
The officers and their newborn baby were home but were not injured, police said
By Chris Sheldon and Kevin Shea
NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.
CAMDEN, N.J. — A manhunt is underway for two gunmen who fired 10 shots at the Camden home of married county police officers who just had a baby.
Seven of the shots hit the home and six penetrated the structure - two through the front door - during the Tuesday, Sept. 15 incident shortly before midnight on Clinton Street, Camden Police Chief Joseph Wysocki told the media at a press event Thursday evening.
The officers and their 10-day-old baby were not injured. They were on the second floor at the time.
The officers, a man and woman, have been with the department for four years and two years, respectively, and remain on leave, officials said. They were born and raised in Camden.
Wysocki said the motive for the shooting is unknown, but it’s “very common knowledge” that the officers live at the home. "I do know that this is a targeted attack against this residence where the officers reside,” Wysocki said.
The chief said one neighbor told investigators, “I don’t go to bed at night until I see the officers' cars come home, when they finish their shift. I watch as their car pulls up.” It’s a quiet, tight-knit neighborhood, he said.
Wysocki spoke with several other leaders, who all urged the public to come forward with any tips on the identities of the shooters. A combined reward stood at $20,000.
Camden County Freeholder Louis Cappelli spoke directly to the perpetrators, and did not hold back. He said he told the chief to “do whatever is necessary to stop anymore more violence against our officers, immediately.”
“This mindless evil conduct will not be tolerated,” Cappelli went on.
“I want to share a very clear message to the scumbag thugs behind this senseless act. We’re coming to get you and you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If you think you can get away with these crimes under the cover of some unfortunate acts taking place in other parts of the nation, or under cover of some national movement, you are wrong."
FBI Special Agent Michael Driscoll, in charge of the Philadelphia office, said anyone who opens fire on a private home is a threat.
“Add to that the possibility that someone may have targeted law enforcement causes a true threat to the citizens of Camden,” he said. “We’re determined to get to the bottom of this together.”
Detectives found seven empty shell casings in front of the home, and investigators identified a 1998 dark-colored Honda Odyssey with a temporary paper tag in the area during the incident and early Thursday morning, they located and towed the minivan for further investigation, police said.
A reward of $20,000 for information leading to arrest of the suspects was offered by the FBI, ATF and local Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 218.
Anyone with information on the shooting or the vehicle that was used in the shooting was urged to call the department’s tip line at 856-757-7420 or use the STOPit app. More contact information for the agency can be found at www.camdencountypd.org and the public was reminded that all tips and information will be considered anonymous.
©2020 NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.