LAKEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Police arrested the man suspected of gunning down a Lakewood, New Jersey police officer early Sunday morning.
Jahmell Crokam, 19, is accused of pulling a gun and repeatedly shooting Lakewood Patrolman Christopher Matlosz, leaving him to die in the hospital less than an hour later. He was arrested Sunday morning by a SWAT team in the bedroom of a Camden apartment.
Just over 38 hours after Matlosz was gunned down, a 15-member task force of State Police and U.S. Marshal’s officers surrounded an apartment where a tipster told police they could find Crokam.
“We were able to get consent for entry, and it was over very quickly,”‘ said State Police Major Edward Cetnar. “He was upstairs in the bedroom.”
Ten of the officers raced into the apartment and quickly arrested Crockam at 6:30 a.m., who did not put up any resistance. He did not seem surprised that authorities had tracked him down, Cetnar said.
“He was very quiet,” Cetnar said.
“This concludes a massive effort by law enforcement to apprehend a person we feel is responsible for the death of Officer Matlosz,” Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford said.
“It is not a time of celebration, but it is some small solice to the family of Officer Matlosz,” Lakewood Police Chief Robert Lawson told reporters including 1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan.
Crokam was already charged with murder and weapons possession before being caught.
The shooting happened next to a snowbank, marked with flowers, in the 1500 block of August Drive in Lakewood. The scene was surrounded by police for hours Friday night.
It’s where Matlosz, while on neighborhood patrol, stopped Crokam on foot and was shot multiple times.
Candles and roses were laid at the officer’s home in Toms River. Christopher Matlosz, 27, was shot down on a routine traffic stop, steps away from one neighbor’s door, CBS 2′s Derricke Dennis reported.
“I heard the shots. I didn’t know what they were. I never heard shots before,” one witness said. “He wasn’t moving. I saw that his eyes were closed and I was just assuming he was dead.”
Officer Matlosz was engaged to be married. His grieving fiance was supported by family and friends. She said in a statement that “Chris was my best friend and soulmate….my life and my world… He just lost his father and now it brings me some peace to know that he is with him.”
“He asked me to be his best man not too long ago for his wedding,” said Edgardo Vega, Matlosz’ best friend.
Lakewood Officer Chase Messer explained that the loss of Matlosz was “devastating for the whole department, and most of the community. He was very well liked.”
(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)