JEFFERSON — A 37-year-old mother's final moments in this world were spent frantically going from one neighbor's door to another after her estranged husband had burst into her bedroom to shoot her and her boyfriend while their two children were footsteps away, police said.

Christine Formisano's husband, a longtime Newark police officer, has admitted that he opened fire after finding the man in his wife's bedroom late Sunday night, police said. The couple had split, were living separately and were in the process of getting a divorce, investigators learned.

Lt. John Formisano, 49, has been charged with trying to kill his wife's 40-year-old boyfriend and with murdering his wife, who was found gunned down on the steps of a Jefferson neighbor's home.

Formisano arrived at the Mirror Place house about 11:20 p.m., according to Morris County Prosecutor Frederic Knapp.

Formisano said that he called his wife from outside the home to tell her that he had eyeglasses for one of their children, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed by investigators.

The boyfriend, identified in court documents as T.S., told police that Christine Formisano came into the bedroom saying that her husband had a gun. She locked the bedroom door, he said.

Formisano broke down the bedroom door and shot T.S. in the thigh, hand, arms and abdomen, according to the affidavit.

Christine Formisano left the house trying to get help and went to 3 Mirror Place and 5 Mirror Place. A neighbor told police that she saw Formisano firing his gun outside 5 Mirror Place, where Christine was found dead on the house's steps with wounds in the abdomen, arm, leg, hand and head.

According to the affidavit, John Formisano told investigators that he "blacked out" when he realized T.S. was in the home.  He remembers firing numerous shots at his wife and her boyfriend, investigators wrote.

John Formisano was arrested 2 a.m. in a parking lot in Livingston. Police said they found his handgun in the trunk. Investigators said he tried to destroy evidence by throwing away his cell phone.

According to the affidavit, Formisano had "suicidal tendencies"  and threatened to harm himself during the incident. reported that Formisano was being held Tuesday at the psychiatric unit at Saint Claire’s Behavioral Health in Boonton.

Formisano was charged with first-degree murder, first-degree attempted murder, two counts of second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and two counts of second-degree child endangerment.

Jefferson Mayor Eric Wilsusen told the Morristown Daily Record the couple's children were staying with a relative.

Newark Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose’s said the department is "deeply saddened" and expressed concerns for the couple's children.

“Lt. Formisano’s colleagues in our police division were shocked by the news of the shooting and we recognize it this is a tragedy beyond comprehension for all involved," Ambrose said.

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

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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