ROSELAND, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A Florida man was charged with attempted murder hours after a standoff with police in Rosedale.
At around 10 p.m. Wednesday, 51-year-old Anthony Vocaturo burst into his girlfriend’s home on Schweinberg Drive in Roseland armed with an automatic weapon, police said.
The woman called police and said Vocaturo was trying to kill her and her teenage son, authorities said.
When officers arrived, police said Vocaturo started shooting at the woman and her son. Officers fired back, hitting Vocaturo in the right side, police said.
“It sounded like firecrackers, but it was actually gunshots,” one resident said.
The woman and her son were able to escape, but Vocaturo barricaded himself inside, police said.
Police ordered residents in nearby townhomes to evacuate or take cover.
“Someone was ringing our doorbell frantically and it was some of our neighbors [saying] that the cops had told them to leave their house,” said resident Katy Boettinger.
“I heard somebody say ‘get down,’” said another resident.
New Jersey State Police SWAT Teams and hostage negotiators spent four hours trying to coax Vocaturo outside.
“A negotiator was able to speak to the suspect by phone in the home,” Police Chief Richard McDonough said.
Police said he confessed to “messing up” and said he was afraid to come out. He eventually surrendered peacefully early Thursday morning.
“The biggest challenge was my officer was under fire when he responded,” McDonough said. “The fear that was going on inside, we had no idea what was taking place. I believe my officer’s actions probably saved the two people inside the home.”
McDonough said the woman may have requested a restraining order against Vocaturo.
Vocaturo, of Fort Meyers, Fla., was taken to the hospital and treated for the gunshot wound.
He was charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, criminal restraint, burglary and weapons charges.
Vocaturo is currently being held at the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark. Bail has been set at $500,000.
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