John Formisano was a 24-year veteran of the Newark Police Department

By Chris Harris
July 17, 2019 10:44 AM
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A veteran New Jersey policeman is behind bars this week, accused of shooting his estranged wife to death Sunday night in an incident that also left the woman’s boyfriend seriously wounded, PEOPLE confirms.

John Formisano, 49, has been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree attempted murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and endangering the welfare of the two children he shared with the victim, his 37-year-old wife Christie Formisano.

The couple was separated and had been living apart.

Officers from the Jefferson Township Police Department were dispatched to Christie’s residence after receiving 911 calls about gunfire.

“Upon arrival, first responding officers located a deceased woman’s body laying on the front porch steps” of a nearby residence, reads a statement from the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.

According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by NJ.com, the 24-year veteran of the Newark Police Department allegedly followed his fleeing wife, shooting her in front of horrified neighbors.

“A second victim, male, age 40, was located with multiple gunshot wounds” inside Christie’s residence, the statement explains.

The affidavit alleges Formisano broke down the door to his wife’s bedroom, shooting the unnamed man in the thigh, hand, arms and abdomen. His wife escaped that violent scene, but Formisano allegedly chased her down the street.

Formisano was found hours later in a parking lot in Livingston, New Jersey, the statement reads. “The defendant was taken into the custody of law enforcement in Livingston,” it explains. “The firearm believed to be used by the defendant to inflict the injuries was collected from the defendant’s motor vehicle.”

Formisano is being held for psychiatric evaluation. He’s yet to enter formal pleas to the charges he faces, and it was unclear if he had retained an attorney.

The affidavit cited by NJ.com alleges Formisano told the arresting officers he’d “blacked out” after arriving at the Jefferson home he’d once shared with his wife, to drop off eyeglasses for one of their children.

However, he allegedly told investigators he remembered shooting his estranged wife and the man who was in the bedroom of the home.

“After entering the residence, Formisano stated that he began to suspect that (Christie Formisano) had a male guest in the bedroom, at which point he ‘blacked out,'” NJ.com quotes from the court document. “He stated that he recalls firing his weapon numerous times” at both victims.

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Christie died from gunshot wounds to the abdomen, arm, leg, hand and head, authorities said.

Surveillance cameras captured some of the incident, according to authorities.

Formisano has been suspended without pay, PEOPLE confirms.

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