Man Indicted for 2011 Murder of Newark Police Officer
Rasul McNeil-Thomas accused of fatally shooting off-duty officer in South Ward last year
A 21-year-old man was indicted Tuesday for first degree murder in the fatal shooting of an off-duty Newark police officer last year, authorities said.
Rasul McNeil-Thomas, of Newark, was also indicted by an Essex County Grand Jury for first degree conspiracy to commit murder, first and second degree carjacking, first degree attempted murder, second degree aggravated assault, two second degree weapons charges, and third degree child endangerment in connection with the death of Newark Police Officer William C. Johnson Jr.
Johnson, 45, a 16-year veteran of the department and father of two daughters, was inside Texas Fried Chicken and Pizza on Lyons Avenue on May 26 last year when he was shot around 9:45 p.m. Johnson, who was grabbing a bite to eat at the South Ward eatery, was unarmed at the time and was not the intended target.
Two other people, a 19-year-old woman carrying a toddler and a 21-year-old man, were also struck in the shoulder and stomach, respectively, but survived.
The car McNeil-Thomas allegedly used in the shooting had been stolen at gunpoint shortly before the incident and was abandoned afterward. McNeil-Thomas was arrested the following day at his Leslie Street home, a half-mile away from the shooting.
McNeil-Thomas is schedule to be arraigned on the charges in the July 3 indictment before Judge Peter J. Vazquez.
– Staff reports