2 NJ State Troopers shot, suspect killed

April 19, 2008 4:11:51 PM PDT
Two New Jersey State Troopers are recovering from gunshot wounds tonight and their attacker is dead. It stemmed from an overnight car stop in rural Mannington Township, Salem County. "I didn't hear nothing, I didn't see nothing." Amazingly Don Emel slept through the gunshots that rang out feet away from his house in an old garage at his Mannington farm.

A shooting response team from the Attorney General's office spent the day processing the scene where the 2 troopers were shot and a suspect killed early this morning.

Emel tells us, "You see about it on TV all the time, you don't think it's gonna happen here but ... I guess they come down here anytime too."

State police say about 3:40 this morning troopers were pursuing 2 stolen vehicles that were speeding down Route 45 when one of them slowed down. The vehicle veered off the road and into a field while the driver took off running toward a farm house and into an old garage.

According to Sgt. Stephen Jones of the New Jersey State Police, "Our troopers chased him in there and as soon as they entered that building 1 trooper was shot in the face along his cheek and into his ear. The other was shot in his hand and the suspect was also shot and killed at that time."

The suspect hasn't yet been identified. 26-year-old Trooper Luis Tomlinson sustained a deep graze wound on his face and was treated at a local hospital. 25-year-old Trooper Matthew Szustowicz was airlifted to Cooper University Hospital to have his hand wound evaluated.

"It's just scary to think what could have happened if he'd gotten in the house or if someone was out," said Emel.

The other stolen vehicle that got away was recovered in Delaware and one suspect was arrested.

As the 2 troopers recover State Police are cognizant of just how lucky they are to be alive after an early-morning gun battle in a dark garage.