Detective John Sczyrek, Jr.

Detective John Sczyrek, Jr.

Newark Police Division, New Jersey

End of Watch Thursday, June 3, 1993

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John Sczyrek, Jr.

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 courthouse hallway, 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 girlfriends, a 22-year-old court employee, met the suspect in the courthouse and gave him the handgun. Although metal detectors were installed at the entrances three months earlier, she used a private door for court employees 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 had served with the Newark Police Department for seven years. He was survived by his wife and daughter.


  • Age 30
  • Tour 7 years
  • Badge 1701

Incident Details

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


Most Recent Reflection

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Eddie Lee Oliver lost again as he should have. In a ruling by The New Jerey State Supreme Court Eddie Lee Oliver will not be released because of his illness. The court has seen fit to keep him where he is in jail, for the cowardly act the he perpetrated against you and every police officer in this country.

As I stated in my previous post he showed you no compassion and a higher court has now ruled that he will not be granted any compassion either.

Detective Michael Petrillo {RET}
Newark Police Department

January 10, 2023

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