JEFFERSON  — Authorities say an off-duty Newark police officer shot and killed his estranged wife and wounded her boyfriend at a northern New Jersey home.

Essex County prosecutors say Newark police Lt. John Formisano was arrested early Monday at his parents' home in Livingston, not long after the shooting occurred in Jefferson. The 49-year-old Formisano is a 24-year veteran of the force.

UPDATE, 6:45 p.m.: John Formisano has been charged with murder and other crimes, and the Morris County Prosecutor's Office has released more information about the incident. The Morris County Prosecutor's Office also said Formisano was arrested in a parking lot in Livingston. See here for an updated story.


An Associated Press report citing the Essex County office described the alleged victim as Formisano's ex-wife. Several other news reports citing unnamed police sources have described her as his estranged wife.

The Essex County Prosecutor's Office referred further questions by New Jersey 101.5 to the Morris County Prosecutor's Office, since the incident happened in Jefferson.

On Facebook and in a news release, the Morris County office acknowledged one person had been killed in a Jefferson incident. It said Jefferson police had responded at 11:21 p.m. Sunday night on a report of shots fired.

"An adult male also sustained serious injury during this incident. At this time, the identities of these individuals will not be released," the Morris County office said.

Jefferson police said the incident took place in the township's White Rock section and there was no danger to the public, according to a post on the department's Facebook page.

Police sources told NBC News 4 two children were in the house at the time but unharmed, the station reported.

A Newark police public information officer told New Jersey 101.5 Formisano is a lieutenant with the department, and has been immediately suspended without pay. His salary $116,572, according to public records. The Newark spokeswoman referred other questions to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, as it is handling the investigation.

A message for the Morris County Prosecutor's Office was not immediately returned.


Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ.

— With information from the Associated Press

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