LIVINGSTON, NJ — Newark Police Lt. John Formisano—the off-duty police officer who was arrested in Livingston on Monday after allegedly shooting and killing his estranged wife and seriously injuring another man in Jefferson Township on Sunday evening—has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder in the shooting, according to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.
The 49-year-old police lieutenant also faces two counts of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
Police found his 37-year-old estranged wife, now identified as Christine Formisano, laying on the front porch steps of a nearby home around 11:20 p.m. on Mirror Place on Sunday night.
The second victim, a 40-year-old male who has not been identified at this time, survived multiple gunshot wounds. According to authorities, police found him inside the Mirror Place home owned by John Formisano.
The suspect was located in a parking lot on Foxcroft Drive at 1:52 a.m. the following day in Livingston, where responding officers seized a firearm from his car, according to police.
The police lieutenant has been on the Newark’s police force for 24 years, according to the Newark Public Safety Department. a spokesperson for the Newark Police Division said he has been suspended since the incident.
“The Newark Public Safety Department is deeply saddened by the family tragedy involving Newark Police Lt. John Formisano,” said Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose. “Our foremost concern, of course, is for the couple’s two children, who have lost their mother, and for the family of the victim.
“Lt. Formisano’s colleagues in our police division were shocked by the news of the shooting and we recognize this is a tragedy beyond comprehension for all involved.”
John Formisano was not on disciplinary action before the incident, the Newark Public Safety Department spokesman said.
However, John Formisano faced a 35-day suspension from unspecified charges in 1999. The Civil Service Commission in 2000 did not adopt an administrative law judge's recommendations to vacate the suspension but reduced it to five days instead.
Property records show that John Formisano owned the Mirror Place home in Jefferson where the male victim was found. He earned about $117,000 annually as a Newark police lieutenant, state records show.
Anyone with information about the investigation should call the Major Crimes Unit of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office at 973-285-6200, or the Jefferson Township Police Department at 973-697-1300.