TOMS RIVER — A retired North Jersey police officer shot a man who'd approached his home, and is now charged with attempted murder, authorities say.

On Thursday, police were called to resident Robert Oleynick's apartment on Kettle Creek Road in Toms River, where they found Oleynick shot in the chest, according to the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.

The prosecutor's office said Oleynick had made his way back to his own apartment from retired Fort Lee officer Richard Michael Gato's home three miles away, and was able to identify Gato as the person who shot him. The prosecutor's office said video surveillance at Gato's home captured the entire incident.

According to the prosecutor's office, Oleynick had gone to Gato's home looking for a friend when he encountered Gato, 70. The office didn't say who the friend was, but prosecutor's office spokesman Al Della Fave said Gato and Oleynick did not know each other.

Gato was seen on video from the home shooting Oleynick after a fight between the two, the prosecutor's office said. Della Fave said he couldn't yet address what the two were fighting about, or whether Gato might have thought Oleynick was breaking in, saying those details would be addressed in court.

Oleynick made his way back to his own home afterward, the prosecutor's office said. He was airlifted to Jersey Shore Medical Center, where he remains in stable condition, the office said.

According to state pension records, Gato retired from Fort Lee in 1994 after more than 25 years of service.

Gato has been charged with attempted murder and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. He is being held at the Ocean County Jail pending a first court appearance.

New Jersey 101.5 did not know Monday whether Gato had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com

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