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Trooper Philip Joseph Lamonaco | New Jersey State Police, New Jersey New Jersey State Police, New Jersey

Trooper

Philip Joseph Lamonaco

New Jersey State Police, New Jersey

End of Watch: Monday, December 21, 1981

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 32

Tour: 11 years

Badge # 2663

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Handgun; 9 mm

Offender: Two sentenced to death

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Trooper Philip Lamonaco was shot and killed during a traffic stop in Knowlton Township.

The incident occurred when he stopped two members of a radical environmental group, known as the United Freedom Front, on I-80. The suspects robbed banks to fund their radical operations which included bombing energy sites.

Several suspects were apprehended and two of them were sentenced to death for Trooper Lamonaco's murder. A third suspect was sentenced to 30 years in prison on federal charges. He was also sentenced to life on state charges, which will start when he is released from federal custody.

On July 19, 1983, Lieutenant Lester Pagano was killed in an automobile accident while investigating Trooper Lamonaco's murder. Lieutenant Pagano had finished following up on leads in reference to the case when the accident occurred.

Trooper Lamonaco had been employed with the New Jersey State Police for 11 years. He is survived by his wife and three children.

A seven mile portion of I-80 was renamed and dedicated in Trooper Lamonaco's memory.

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Related Line of Duty Deaths

Lieutenant Lester Amos Pagano
New Jersey State Police, New Jersey
End of Watch: Tuesday, July 19, 1983
Cause: Automobile crash

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I was only a teenager living in the Philadelphia area when Trooper Lamonaco was killed, but I still remember the deep sense of shock that people felt when the news of his murder came. It was made worse by the loss of Lt. Pagano days later. That was a time when our society didn't glamorize criminals, drugs and so-called "gangsters." The killing of a police officer anywhere in the country made national news, and all good people mourned their loss. For the families of these heroes, it is important that they know they will never be forgotten.

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October 5, 2017

 

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