Off-Duty Newark Cop Killed Outside NJ Strip Club

Authorities believe the officer was shot during a botched robbery.

By Brian Thompson and Tracie Strahan
|  Tuesday, Nov 8, 2011  |  Updated 5:35 PM EDT
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Police in New Jersey are searching for the person who killed a Newark police detective while he was off-duty in Paterson early Monday morning. Brian Thompson reports.

NBC New York

Police in New Jersey are searching for the person who killed a Newark police detective while he was off-duty in Paterson early Monday morning. Brian Thompson reports.

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Police are looking for a suspect after an off-duty Newark police officer was shot and killed during a botched robbery early Monday as he left a Paterson, N.J. strip club where he was celebrating a birthday.     

The 31-year-old detective, Michael Morgan, was talking to a dancer outside the Sunrise Gentlemen Lounge at about 3 a.m. when a man wearing jeans and a black-hooded sweatshirt approached and asked them both for cash, authorities said.

Police believe the gunman and the detective may have struggled before the robber fired a shot, striking the detective in his side.

He was rushed to St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Morgan was at the club with several other Newark police officers celebrating a birthday, officials said.

Brown said authorities believe the gunman may be linked to another robbery that happened on nearby Elizabeth Street not long before the shooting outside the strip club.    

New Jersey's largest law-enforcement union is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the man who killed the officer.

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