New Jersey

Officials: 81-Year-Old Grandpa Found Dead in NJ Home After Standoff; 1 in Custody

The investigation is in its preliminary stages, law enforcement officials stressed Tuesday afternoon

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A 21-year-old New Jersey man is in custody Tuesday in connection with the death of his 81-year-old grandfather, police officials say.

The grandson, later identified as Jason Vicari, barricaded himself in a house on Beechwood Avenue in Elmwood Park for about an hour after the incident, which happened around 9:30 a.m., but was eventually apprehended, the local police chief said.

Bergen County prosecutors, who are leading the investigation, according to Elmwood Park police, say the Regional SWAT Team was called and the grandson, who lived in the home, surrendered after a brief period.

"Wesaw like three officers by the house with big guns, and we just kept watching until the guy came out with his hands up," said a neighbor who did not wish to be identified. "I didn't see any weapons or anything on him. And the cops were there, like three cops that went around him and the SWAT team swarmed into the house."

Photos posted to social media showed a huge law enforcement presence, including officers with rifles and in heavy tactical gear, as he was led from the scene. A neighbor recorded video of the grandson walking calmly away with heavily armed officers.

Police went into the home and discovered the victim, identified as Ronald Vicari, dead, according to the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, which is leading the investigation into the incident. Charges against the grandson, who has not been identified, are pending.

Prosecutors didn't immediately say how Vicari died. Initial reports stated that an ax was used in the killing, but that has not been confirmed by police.

Elmwood Park Police Chief Michael Foligno, though, told News 4 the "weapon aspect" is under investigation. Foligno stressed the investigation was in its preliminary stages.

Neighbor Lizardo Valenzuea said that the elder Vicari, a one-time Elmwood Park planning board member, lived in the home with his wife for decades. Valenzuela said he had never seen Jason Vicari before.

No other details were immediately available.

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