Detective John Sczyrek

Detective John Sczyrek

Newark Police Department, New Jersey

End of Watch Thursday, June 3, 1993

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John Sczyrek

Detective John Sczyrek was shot and killed in court by a suspect who was trying to keep him from testifying against his two cousins charged with narcotics crimes following an undercover assignment. As Detective Sczyrek walked down the hallway of the courthouse the defendant's cousin opened fire with a .357 caliber handgun. As the suspect attempted to flee he shot and critically wounded another deputy but was apprehended a short distance away.

The 25-year-old suspect had boasted to relatives in North Carolina a day earlier that he was leaving and going to New Jersey to kill Detective Sczyrek and the judge in the case because he said they could not get a fair trial. One of the defendant's girlfriend, a 22-year-old court employee, met the suspect in the court house and gave him the handgun. Although metal detectors had been installed at entrances three months earlier, she used a private door for court employees only to enter. She and the suspect were charged with murder and attempted murder. Both were convicted of murder. She was sentenced to 20 years and the suspect to life. The other deputy, shot through a lung, recovered.

Detective Sczyrek was survived by his wife and daughter.


  • Age 30
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge 1701

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .357 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

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I was a responding UMDNJ paramedic on that day and recall much of the event. Although we were nearby and had a vert short response time, his injuries were fatal.
I hope the families are doing as well as possible considering the loss. And I hope justice was served.

John Ireland, paramedic

October 6, 2021

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