FANWOOD, NJ - John Antonucci, 49, of Fanwood, has been arrested after allegedly firing shots at police during a nearly eight-hour overnight standoff, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Saturday. He is expected to face multiple weapons charges and other offenses when he is formally charged.
According to the Union County Prosecutor's Office, Fanwood police were called to a residential property on Locust Avenue on a report of shots being fired shortly after 11 p.m. Friday to encounter a man later identified as Antonucci, according to Fanwood Police Chief Richard Trigo. Antonucci was seen standing in a window brandishing a weapon, and he started yelling at police as they arrived, Trigo said.
Antonucci allegedly started firing at officers with a rifle shortly before midnight, when officers returned fire. Negotiations lasting nearly seven hours followed, and Antonucci was taken into custody shortly before 7 a.m. Saturday, Trigo said.
No one was seriously injured during the standoff. More than a dozen firearms were recovered at the residence, Trigo added. Fanwood police received operational support from the Union County S.W.A.T. unit, Union County Prosecutor’s Office, Union County Police Department, Union County Office of Emergency Management, NJ Transit Police, the Scotch Plains Police Department and the Westfield Police Department.
Train service was suspended overnight Friday on the Raritan Valley Line because shots had been fired in the direction of the train tracks, which border the backyard of Antonucci's Locust Avenue residence.
Gunshots could be heard echoing throughout the southeast sector of the borough at around 11 p.m. Friday night, and again shortly after daybreak on Saturday, just before the standoff ended. Some residents in the area said they believed the shots to be either firecrackers or the sound of a transformer popping.