Detective John Sczyrek, Jr.

Detective John Sczyrek, Jr.

Newark Police Department, 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, the coward who shot you in the back on June 03, 1993, tried to get a compassionate release due to serious illness, advanced MS. You would have been proud of all the Newark Brothers who showed up to support Cheryl and your daughter. Both active and retired. Needless to say that the release was denied and he will spend the rest of his time in jail, where he belongs. That of course will not bring you back or make it any easier on your daughter, but it will show that no matter how much time passes, you my friend will never be forgotten. I guess Eddie Lee Oliver did not realize that blue lives matter and it was very evident with all the support you got from your brother and sisters officers. Justice was served again today February 14, 2022 Eddie Lee Oliver was denied his compassionate release. He showed you no compassion and in turn the court did the same thing to him.

Detective Michael Petrillo {RET}
Newark Police Department

February 15, 2022

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