Home News More arrests made in ambush shooting of New Jersey state trooper

More arrests made in ambush shooting of New Jersey state trooper

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Vinny Vella

The Philadelphia Inquirer

New Jersey State Police on Friday arrested 10 additional suspects in the violent ambush of a state trooper at a South Jersey trailer park.

They join four other members of a “lawless caravan” that traveled to the Harding Woods trailer park in Pittsgrove, Salem County, on April 25 to allegedly attack a woman who had been robbed earlier that day, according to State Attorney General Gubir Grewal.

When the group arrived, they confronted State Police Detective Richard Hershey, who was there investigating the earlier home invasion. They started a gunfight with Hershey, hitting him in the leg and causing serious injury, Grewal said.

The suspects arrested Friday are: Markese Rogers, 25, of Pittsgrove; Aisha McArthur, 25, and Rovell L. McArthur Jr., 26, both from Vineland; and Jenislen Quiles, 19, Shakeem Waters, 31, Thomas Nieves III, 30, Chayana Diaz, 22, Ashley Diaz-Acevedo, 22, Melissa Romero, 22, and Noel Lazu, 20, all of Bridgeton.

All have been charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and rioting.

“We made a promise to our citizens and fellow law enforcement officers that we would apprehend every last member of the cowardly mob that nearly killed Detective Richard Hershey, and I am pleased to announce today that we are making good on that promise,” said Col. Patrick J. Callahan, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “We will not rest until every suspect is brought to justice and held accountable for their actions.”

Authorities said the incident began around 6 p.m., when five women forced their way into a home in the park on Route 40, assaulted a woman, and stole her iPhone.

The victim was treated for a broken rib and a lacerated lung. Authorities said she had a dispute with the women, and was familiar with at least two of her assailants and was able to identify them.

Grewal said one of the women, identified as Iramari Lazu, 22, allegedly returned to the trailer park with the caravan and planned to continue the assault. A motive for the attack was not disclosed.

The three alleged shooters — Najzeir “Naz” Hutchings, 21, Tremaine M. Hadden, 27, and Kareen “Kai” Warner Jr., 19, all of Bridgeton — were arrested after the incident and charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault of a police officer, and weapons offenses. A fourth suspect, Colby Opperman, 18, also of Bridgeton, was arrested days later, and charged with weapons offenses.

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