Hundreds of Officers Mourn Slain NJ Patrolman - NBC New York

Hundreds of Officers Mourn Slain NJ Patrolman



    Candlelight Vigil for Fallen Lakewood Police Officer

    Hundreds pay honor to the officer. (Published Monday, Jan. 31, 2011)

    A sea of blue is mourning the loss of a New Jersey police officer, shot execution style last week.


    Authorities say Matlosz was patrolling a residential neighborhood when he stopped to speak to Crockam.

    According to witnesses, the conversation was non-confrontational and that there were no warning signs to the violent shooting that followed.

    Fellow Lakewood officer Gary Przewornik spoke at the vigil. "For those of us lucky enough to have known Chris. You would know that he loved his job and he loved his fiance Kelly. That's a pretty great combination."

    Officers from other departments also attended the vigil as a sign of solidarity, including officer Campbell Brown of the Jackson Police Department.

    "I thought it was important to support our brothers," said Brown, "and to support Chris and his family."

    Armed members of the SWAT team surrounded the square, keeping a watchful eye over the crowd. The search for Crockam apparently upset leadership of the Bloods gang and according to sources led to an order to their members to kill other cops.  Officer Matlosz's colleague and best friend says that knowledge is unsettling.

    "Some people are worried," said Officer Edgardo Vega after a long pause.  "But this is what we signed up for." 

    Hundreds of officers from around the state lined the parking lot of a funeral home in Howell Township where the wake for Lakewood Patrolman Christopher Matlosz was being held Wednesday. The officer's funeral is Thursday.

    A hundred uniformed officers wearing white gloves saluted in total silence as relatives of the slain officer were driven into the lot.

    Other officers cried and hugged one another. Stephen Gibson, a state trooper who knew Matlosz for 12 years, said the officer asked him the day before he was killed to be part of his wedding party. Matlosz was to be married in April 2012.

    Nineteen-year-old Jamell Crockam of Lakewood has been charged with shooting Matlosz.  He made a first court appearance on Tuesday but did not enter a plea.