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Off-Duty NJ Cop Killed in Drive-By Shooting

Off-Duty NJ Cop Killed in Drive-By Shooting

Associated Press

May 27, 2011

NEWARK, N.J. – Authorities in Newark, N.J., have disclosed the identity of a police officer who was killed in a drive-by shooting while he was off-duty.

Authorities say William Johnson was buying a slice of pizza Thursday night at a Newark shop when he was shot.

The 45-year-old was on the force for 16 years and had two daughters.

No one has been charged in his death.

Authorities have not said whether they believe the officer was the target of the shooting, a bystander or a victim of mistaken identity

Authorities previously said that the off-duty officer, who lived in Newark, and two other people were wounded around 9:45 p.m. when someone fired shots from a car into the Texas Fried Chicken and Pizza restaurant, then sped off.

Mayor Cory Booker said in an early-morning news conference that the officer was ordering a slice of pizza in the fast food place in the South Ward section of the city when the shots rang out.

The other victims, a man and a woman, were in stable condition early Friday at University Hospital.

Booker said the officer was 45 years old, a 16-year veteran of the force charged with protecting a city that at times has been among the nation’s most dangerous places.

He was also a father.

Booker said a manhunt was under way for the car and its occupants.

The Police Benevolent Association and the Essex County Sheriff’s Office offered a reward totaling $20,000 for information that leads to a conviction.

“We are hurt,” Booker said. “We are angry and we will find who is responsible.”

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