NJ jail cop upset with doctor’s appointment kills office worker
MOUNT LAUREL — A correctional police officer upset about a doctor's appointment has been charged with murder after shooting an office worker and injuring another woman Friday afternoon.
Prosecutors said Bruce Gomola Jr., 51, of Burlington Township, pulled out a .40 caliber handgun inside the Delaware Valley Urology on Midlantic Drive and shot Patient Services Representative Stephanie Horton right in the chest.
The bullet pierced the body of the 44-year-old Willingboro woman, exiting through her back and striking the knee of a patient. The other woman who was shot was treated at the scene but Horton was pronounced dead at 4:18 p.m. at Cooper University Hospital in Camden.
After driving away, Gomola returned to the scene of the shooting and surrendered to a Mount Laurel detective, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said Gomola had been upset about an appointment for his father and Horton had tried to discuss the situation with Gomola.
Gomola works at the Burlington County jail. Records show he has been enrolled in the pension system since 2008.
Horton was described as a hero who "courageously put herself in [harm's] way to protect those around her."
"Stephanie was strong, she was selfless [and] she would fight for those she loved," Horton's colleague wrote on a GoFundMe campaign page to raise funds for her family and funeral expenses. "Even during the scariest moment of her life she was still trying to take care of everyone else."
Her colleague said Horton is survived by her parents and boyfriend with two children.
Gomola is charged with first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree aggravated assault and second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
He was being held Saturday at the Camden County jail. New Jersey 101.5 did not know whether he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
The shooting was the second shocking and fatal act of gun violence in New Jersey in less than a week.
On Sunday, a racist and misogynistic lawyer tried to ambush a Latina federal judge at her North Brunswick home, killing her son and gravely wounding her husband, authorities said. Roy Den Hollander, 72, the suspected gunman who also has been tied to the fatal shooting of a fellow lawyer in California on July 11, was found dead Monday with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
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Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.