New Jersey Trooper Shot In Confrontation With Angry Mob At Robbery Scene

Holly Matkin

New Jersey State Police Detective Richard Hershey was investigating a robbery when a caravan of vehicles pulled up.

Pittsgrove, NJ – A lone New Jersey State Police (NJSP) detective was confronted by an angry mob and shot as he was investigating a report of a home invasion last Saturday night.

The incident began at the Harding Woods Mobile Home Park on Harding Highway at approximately 6 p.m., when a group of five women allegedly forced their way inside a home and assaulted a female victim, NJ.com reported.

The attack allegedly occurred after someone made a derogatory comment about one of the attackers’ family members, police said.

The suspects stole the woman’s iPhone as they pummeled her, leaving her with a lacerated lung and a broken rib, NJ.com reported.

A passerby saw the attack and called police, and the victim was transported to Inspira Medical Center Elmer for treatment, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

NJSP Detective Richard Hershey, a plainclothes trooper in an unmarked vehicle, traveled to the scene to process it further at approximately 10:30 p.m., NJ.com reported.

But as he was conducting his investigation, a “caravan” of five vehicles drove up to the home and several people got out and confronted him.

Det. Hershey identified himself as a law enforcement officer and ordered the mob to leave the area, and they initially started to comply.

But as the vehicles began driving away, one occupant opened fire on Det. Hershey, hitting him in the upper leg, NJ.com reported.

The detective immediately returned fire.

A female bystander who was not involved with the group was shot in the leg during the exchange of gunfire, but it is unclear who fired the bullet that struck her.

A homeowner who lives next door to the residence where the robbery and assault took place said that the suspects riddled his home with bullets, even though he wasn’t their target, WCAU reported.

Det. Hershey was rushed to Cooper University Hospital in Camden, according to NJ.com.

He underwent surgery the next morning, and is now in stable condition, WCAU reported.

The female bystander was treated for her gunshot wound at the hospital and has since been released.

The gunman, later identified as 21-year-old Najzeir “Naz” Hutchings, was arrested on charges of aggravated assault on a police officer, first-degree attempted murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and unlawful possession of a weapon, NJ.com reported.

Colby Opperman, 18, and Kareen “Kai” Warner, 19, were both arrested on charges of second-degree unlawful possession of weapons.

According to a probable cause affidavit, multiple witnesses told police that Warner was carrying a gun at the time of the attack on Det. Hershey, and two people said they saw Warner discharge the weapon, NJ.com reported.

Although the shooting was not captured on video, the attack on the woman who was assaulted earlier in the day was livestreamed on social media.

Police arrested 52-year-old Mayra Roblero, 32-year-old Jazmin Valentin, 43-year-old Yomari Lazu, 22-year-old Iramari Lazu, and 39-year-old Maria Betancourt in connection with the initial attack, NJ.com reported.

They have all been charged with conspiracy to commit burglary, third-degree burglary, conspiracy to commit robbery, robbery, and aggravated assault.

Iramari Lazu was also a part of the caravan of suspects who confronted Det. Hershey prior to the shooting, police said.

According to prosecutors, all eight suspects could face additional charges, WCAU reported.

“This shocking attack on a member of the State Police who was working with us on an investigation demonstrates what our officers risk every day to protect us,” Salem County Prosecutor John Lenahan said in a virtual press conference announcing the eight arrests on Tuesday, according to NJ.com.

“We are grateful that he is recovering and we are gratified that, working together, we were able to bring those responsible for that shooting – and the home invasion that preceded it – to justice,” Lenahan added.

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said the state will not tolerate attacks on police, NJ.com reported.

“We have zero tolerance for a hostile mob that threatens a law enforcement officer performing his duties,” he said during the press conference. “We have zero tolerance for those that attack a law enforcement officer. And we have zero tolerance for a cowardly gunman that targets a detective in a drive-by shooting in the middle of the night in the midst of a pandemic.”

NJSP Colonel Patrick Callahan said that he has been in daily contact with Det. Hershey and his family since the shooting, NJ.com reported.

“We will have him and his family in our prayers as he moves forward through his recovery," Col. Callahan said. “He’s got a little bit of a road ahead of him. I think he might be in Cooper for another week or so, but his spirits are phenomenally high and we do expect a full recovery.”

The colonel said there was never any question about whether or not law enforcement would locate and arrest the gunman who shot Det. Hershey.

“Anyone attempting to murder a New Jersey State Trooper, or any member of law enforcement, will find no safe haven. Our pursuit will be relentless, unwavering and swift,” he said, according to WCAU. “Fortunately, we did not suffer a tragedy.”

Comments (72)
No. 1-21
flybynight
flybynight

21-year-old Najzeir “Naz” Hutchings, Colby Opperman, 18, and Kareen “Kai” Warner, 19, 52-year-old Mayra Roblero, 32-year-old Jazmin Valentin, 43-year-old Yomari Lazu, 22-year-old Iramari Lazu, and 39-year-old Maria Betancourt

Did I miss anyone?

vwiles34
vwiles34

Pack of Animals roaming the streets that deserve to be placed on permanent lockdown. Put the animals back in the zoo where they belong.

cspcapt
cspcapt

NJSP a great department, hope and prayers for the trooper

XIHP308
XIHP308

Five people that never grew up. Long time in the pokey is warranted.

Cop Watch
Cop Watch

We have zero tolerance for a hostile mob that threatens a law enforcement officer performing his duties,” he said during the press conference. “We have zero tolerance for those that attack a law enforcement officer.

we the people have "zero" tolerance for criminal cops! so what is being done on that? other then the usual victim blaming.

Anomie88
Anomie88

I guess the shooter passed the background test to buy his handgun in NJ. I thought strict restrictions stop criminals with guns. Oh, that's right, he was a criminal with a gun who wasn't authorized to possess one.

Bobby1874
Bobby1874

B Hussein Obama's legacy the emboldened thugs and the war on cops 

#PARTYOFCRIME #partyOfIllegals #partyOfFreaks #PartyOfMalignancies 

Democrats have morphed into the trade union for America's malignancies.  Thugs, criminals, MS13, dishonest attorneys, fake news personalities, radicals, illegals, and anything else that runs counter to our constitution, norms, laws, or sovereignty is a welcome vote to Democrats.

bryantrent
bryantrent

Hope the troooper is okay

DarrellB
DarrellB

How oh how is the OBVIOUS failure of a certain segment of society the FAULT of ANY other part of society EXCEPT THEIR OWN, THEMSELVES?!?!?!?!?!?!?
No Excuse ! No Excuse ever ! Change starts from WITHIN ! ! !

Rascal1966
Rascal1966

Everyone of these animals needs to be euthanized!!!

checksix
checksix

Thugs come in all ages, colors and genders.

Debluvsanimals
Debluvsanimals

We need a desserted island to dump these parasites on and let them kill each other!! Watch how great America really becomes.

LEO0301
LEO0301

How come the trolls are so quite?

2ezas
2ezas

That is great the Officer will be ok

Better that they live streamed the attack Darwin had a lot of sayings 🤣🤣🤣

Stanracer
Stanracer

And the war on the police continues. So sad!👎😣

Just-My-Thoughts
Just-My-Thoughts

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said the state will not tolerate attacks on police, NJ.com reported.

Prove it and show them in jail.......The criminals are running the country and those in charge don't seem to give a dammmm. They keep letting them out. They let them out because of COVID. BS.. Let them stay in there, rot in there and not get out. They don't care about anyone but themselves and getting pay back.

Angry Curmdgeon
Angry Curmdgeon

Looking at the names of these people, I would think a check of their legal status would be warranted. Not to say that Americans wouldn't have done something like that, but, it is not a tactic I have read of them doing. However, it is a tactic you can read about from Central & South America. Google. For Canada, they would apologize in two languages & promise to never let it happen again.

Viking24
Viking24

I really wish the animals would not call 911 after their daily attacks on each other.

mickey11
mickey11

i think the days of one officer responding to a scene are over,

BlueGladiator
BlueGladiator

@Cop Watch. Ha! Focus, what about this story? I know, daddy din't loves you, so you hate authority.....awwwwwwe!!!🤣

elrayoex
elrayoex

Obviously racism.


News

FEATURED
COMMUNITY