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January 7, 10

NEWS / Shooting Response Team Investigates Shooting Incident Involving State Police During Drug Arrests in

NEWARK - The Attorney Generalís Shooting Response Team is conducting an investigation into the circumstances surrounding a shooting incident involving New Jersey State Police detectives that occurred in Newark about 4:30 p.m. yesterday as the detectives arrested four suspects in a narcotics investigation.

According to the preliminary investigation, four State Police detectives assigned to the Metro North Team as part of the Irvington Violent Crime Task Force were working on a narcotics investigation with an Irvington police officer when they observed four occupants of a Chevy Malibu engaged in a narcotics transaction near the intersection of Clinton and Badger Avenues in Newark. After the transaction, the officers, who were positioned nearby, arrested one suspect who had exited the Malibu. That suspect, later identified as Leonard Sanders, was in possession of 50 bags of suspected heroin. At the same time, the officers moved to surround the Malibu and ordered the occupants to exit the vehicle. The driver, later identified as Reynold McZorn, accelerated the Malibu in reverse, striking an undercover police vehicle. State Police Detective Tyrone Coronato, who was positioned on the driver side of the Malibu, fired a single round from his service weapon, striking McZorn in the left arm. The three occupants of the vehicle were then arrested without further incident. McZorn was transported to University Hospital in Newark, where he was treated and later released to police custody.

McZorn, 28, of Newark, was charged with aggravated assault, resisting arrest, eluding, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose (the vehicle). In addition, all four men, McZorn, Sanders, 25, of Elizabeth, and the two other men arrested Ė Shakir Phelps, 27, and Antwon Phelps, 25, both of Newark Ė were charged with conspiracy, possession of heroin, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of heroin within 1,000 feet of a school, and possession of heroin within 500 feet of a park. They are being held in the Essex County Jail, McZorn in lieu of $100,000 bail, and the other three men in lieu of $75,000 bail each.

The incident remains under investigation by the Attorney Generalís Shooting Response Team. Under an Attorney General Directive, the Shooting Response Team, made up of deputy attorneys general, detectives of the Division of Criminal Justice and detectives of the State Police Major Crime Unit, are dispatched to the scene to handle investigations of such incidents. The Essex County Prosecutorís Office is assisting in the ongoing investigation.




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