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South Passaic Daily Voice serves Clifton, Haledon, Hawthorne, Little Falls, North Haledon, Passaic, Paterson, Prospect Park, Totowa, Wayne & Woodland Park

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Prosecutor: Ex-Fort Lee Officer Tried To Kill Man Outside His House

Retired Fort Lee Officer Richard Gato.
Retired Fort Lee Officer Richard Gato. Photo Credit: Ocean County Prosecutor's Office

Retired Fort Lee police officer Richard Michael Gato was arrested Monday for shooting a man in his chest outside of his Toms River home, authorities said.

Toms River police responded to a Kettle Creek Road home home and found Robert Oleynick, 24 of Toms River, with a gunshot wound in his chest, Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato said.

Oleynick was airlifted to Jersey Shore Medical Center for medical treatment where he remains in stable condition.

An investigation found that the shooting took place earlier in the evening at Gato's Margaret Drive home, authorities said in a statement.

Oleynick was looking for a friend at the address when he encountered Gato, the statement said.

The encounter resulted in a physical altercation that led to Oleynick being shot in his left chest by Gato, authorities said.

Gato was charged with attempted murder and possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose, according to authorities. He is being held in the Ocean County Jail pending his first appearance.

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