A prominent CEO from Atlanta, in town for his high school reunion, was shot and killed by an undercover detective over the weekend.
Credit Union of Atlanta CEO, DeFarra Ivan Gaymon was in town to celebrate the 30th reunion of Montclair High School’s Class of 1980, which he spent a year planning.
But, at a press conference today, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino claimed Gaymon was interested in more than just seeing old classmates.
At 6 p.m. on Friday night an undercover detective from the Essex County Sheriff’s Office was investigating complaints of people engaged in sexual activity at Branch Brook Park at the intersection of West Drive near Bloomfield Ave., which Essex County authorities have describe as a known meeting point for sexual encounters, officials said.
According to the undercover officer, he had made an arrest in an unrelated case when he realized he had lost a pair of handcuffs in the process, prosecutors said. After the officer secured the suspect he told his partner he was going back into the woods to try and find the missing handcuffs.
While bending down to retrieve the handcuffs, the plainclothes officer was approached by Gaymon -- a married father of four -- who was allegedly engaged in a sexual act at the time, prosecutors said.
The officer pulled out his badge, identified himself as a police officer and informed Gaymon he was under arrest.
But Laurino said Gaymon panicked, assaulted the police officer and fled. The officer chased the CEO while repeatedly telling him Gaymon to surrender.
The 48-year-old allegedly ignored the commands, as he repeatedly threatened to kill the officer, prosecutors said. The officer stated that the CEO lunged at him and attempted to disarm the officer while reaching into his own pocket. The officer reacted and fired his weapon. The bullet hit Gaymon once in the abdomen.
Laurino noted that no other weapon was found at the scene.
The officer immediately called for help and began first aid on Gaymon who was rushed to University Hospital in Newark where he was pronounced dead at 9 p.m
"We’re saddened by this tragedy and our heartfelt condolences go out to his family," Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura told the Star Ledger.
Fontoura did state that the undercover detective is 29 years old and has served on the force for eight-years. The detective, who will not be identified due to his undercover status, was also taken to University Hospital after the shooting, where he treated for trauma and medicated, the prosecutor’s office said.
According to the Sheriff’s office 200 such arrests have been made there in the last 18 months, all without incident.
The shooting is the third law enforcement related shooting this week and the fifth in the last month.
The Essex County prosecutor, said the case will be presented to a grand jury as is required under guidelines established by the Office of the Attorney General in all cases involving police shootings. The officer is cooperating with the investigation and has not been cleared for duty.
The CEO's sister, Kelly Gaymon Armstrong told the Star Ledger her family plans to fly to New Jersey early next week to find out just what happened, "We want answers," she said.