Newark cop in uniform shot his wife to death, 911 caller says
JEFFERSON — Neighbors told a police dispatcher that Newark police officer Lt. John Formisano was in uniform when he arrived at his home on July 14 and opened fire on his wife, killing her, according to three redacted 911 calls released by the Morris County Prosecutor's Office.
Formisano, 49, was charged with trying to kill his wife's 40-year-old boyfriend and murdering his wife, who authorities say was found gunned down on the steps of a neighbor's home in the Oak Ridge section of Jefferson Township
The veteran officer of 24 years in Newark arrived at the Mirror Place house about 11:20 p.m., on July 14, according to Morris County Prosecutor Frederic Knapp.
Formisano 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, according to the affidavit.
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, investigators say. According to authorities, 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.
Frantic neighbors called 911 upon hearing the shots fired.
"A man just shot his wife in front of my house. You gotta hurry up because she's dying in front of my house," a woman told a 911 operator. She identified the gunman as a "Newark cop who lives on the corner."
That and other 911 calls were published by NJ.com in a YouTube video Monday. New Jersey 101.5 received the same redacted calls from the Morris County Prosecutor's Office Tuesday.
Barking dogs could be heard as a man told a dispatcher he should quickly send officers to his street.
"There's somebody shot on my front steps. I think she's dying or dead. I don't even want to touch her. We heard some pops and I think it's the woman from next door," the caller said.
He continued: "You guys better hurry up. I think it was my neighbor. Dude I'm not f**king around.
"I'm sending everybody," the dispatcher said.
That caller also identified the gunman as a Newark officer in uniform.
Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Schmid said in his response to a public records request for the 911 calls that one call was held back out of concern for the impact its release would have on Formisano's family and loved ones.
"The production of this 911 call would most certainly offend and disturb any person of normal sensibilities," Schmid wrote without disclosing any specifics of the call.
According to the affidavit, John Formisano told investigators that he "blacked out" when he realized T.S. was in the home. He said 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 of his car. He tried to destroy evidence by throwing away his cell phone, according to the affidavit.
According to the affidavit, Formisano had "suicidal tendencies" and threatened to harm himself during the incident. NJ.com reported this week that Formisano was being held Tuesday at the psychiatric unit at Saint Claire’s Behavioral Health in Boonton.
He has not yet made his first appearance in court.
Formisano's attorney Anthony J. Iacullo told NJ.com he still being held at Saint Claire's for "psychological treatment."
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