New Jersey police are looking for 19-year-old Jahmell Crokam, the man they suspect of killing a police officer in what one prosecutor called an “execution-style” shooting.
Crokam has been charged with murder and the illegal possession of a firearm, Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford said Saturday. She said Crokam also goes by the name “Sav,” short for “Savage.” Read more after the jump…
(CNN)–”Mr. Crokam is at large. The public is advised that he is obviously dangerous,” said Ford.
Some $117,000 of reward money is available for information leading to the suspect’s arrest, she said.
Crokam was described as a 19-year-old black male, thought to weigh around 220 pounds and stand 5 feet,7 inches tall. He was last seen wearing a black hoodie and black or dark blue jeans, said Ford.
The shooting occurred Friday afternoon in the New Jersey township of Lakewood.The police officer stopped a pedestrian and was having a conversation with the suspect right before the shooting occurred, Ford said on Friday.
“The individual stepped back suddenly, pulled out a handgun and shot the officer three times,” Ford said. “The officer’s weapon was still in his holster. That is how quickly it happened.”
On Saturday, she added: “What was a routine stop, what was a routine conversation … suddenly turned deadly. And I think that indicates the danger that this person presents to the public.”
The officer, identified as Christopher Matlosz, was sitting in his patrol car when the shooting occurred, Ford said.
Police were still determining whether Matlosz knew the suspect and the reason the officer was questioning the man.
Witnesses have told police that the exchange between the officer and the gunman appeared calm before the shooting. Lakewood police and other authorities immediately launched a manhunt for the gunman, said Lakewood Police Chief Robert Lawson.
“He was one of our most popular officers. He was dedicated to his job,” Lawson said of Matlosz. “He was the best of us.”
Matlosz, 27, worked for the police department for some 4 1/2 years and was engaged to be married.
“Our goal is to identify the perpetrator of this heinous, execution-style murder and bring that person to justice,” Ford said.