Newark Police Lt. kills wife, seriously injures man in township weekend shooting

JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP. Newark Police Lt. John Formisano, 49, is charged with first degree murder, first degree attempted murder and other related crimes in connection with the alleged shooting of his wife and another man in the township on Sunday.

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  • PHOTOS BY NICOLE M. WELLS Law enforcement scours the crime scene on Mirror Place in Jefferson Township on Monday afternoon after Newark Police Lt. John Formisano allegedly shot and killed his estranged wife and seriously injured another man Sunday night.

Shots rang out in a residential neighborhood over the weekend, killing a township woman and seriously injuring a man, law enforcement officials said.

Police charged Acting Newark Police Lt. John Formisano, 49, with first-degree murder, first-degree attempted murder and other related crimes, in connection with the alleged shooting of his estranged wife and a man on Mirror Place, officials said.

According to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Formisano allegedly fatally shot Christine Formisano, 37, and seriously injured an unidentified 40-year-old man on Sunday, July 14.

Jefferson police were dispatched to the Formisano home at 1 Mirror Place at approximately 11:21 p.m. for a report of shots fired, officials said.

Christine Formisano’s body was found by first responders on the front porch steps of 5 Mirror Place, while the unidentified man was discovered with multiple gunshot wounds in the Formisano residence, officials said.

Charles and Nancy Spetz are listed as the owners of 5 Mirror Place, according to public records.

Peter DiGennaro, public information officer for the prosecutor’s office, said he could not comment on the man’s current medical status.

Investigators combed through the home at 1 Mirror Place Monday afternoon, collecting evidence as neighbors walked dogs and peered past the yellow crime scene tape that cordoned off the area.

Pat Baugh, of adjacent White Rock Boulevard, said that she didn’t see anything, but that she heard what sounded like an argument.

“I heard a man yelling, but I don’t know who it was,” she said. “I looked out and the front of that house was all lit up like a spotlight and I thought maybe it was a party and somebody got into a fight.”

With the Fourth of July holiday still fairly recent, Baugh said her daughter thought people in the neighborhood were just having fun.

“My daughter heard a pop, and she thought it was a firecracker” she said. “And I think it was a gunshot.”

According to the prosecutor’s office, Formisano was located at 2 a.m. Monday at a parking lot in Livingston, and was taken into custody by law enforcement there.

The gun allegedly used during the incident was retrieved from Formisano’s vehicle, which was also found in Livingston.

Newark Police Public Information Supervisor Mark S. Di Ionno said Formisano is a 24-year veteran of the department, who was recently promoted to acting lieutenant from the rank of sergeant. He was immediately suspended without pay following the incident.

In addition to the first-degree murder and first degree attempted murder charges, Formisano is also charged with two counts of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. The four additional counts are second-degree offenses.

DiGennaro said that children were present when the shooting occurred, however, he would not release additional information regarding their condition.

Members of the Jefferson Township Police Department, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office–Crime Scene Investigations and Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, the Morris County Department of Law and Public Safety and the Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office all took part in the investigation.

Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to contact the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at (973) 285-6200 or the Jefferson Township Police Department at (973) 697-1300.

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