UNION TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A Union County grand jury returned an indictment against a Newark police officer who fatally shot a Middlesex County man outside a Union County bar while off duty earlier this year.

Joseph Macchia, 35, is charged with second-degree manslaughter in connection with the death of 37-year-old Michael Gaffney of Piscataway.

Union Township police officers responded to Paddy’s Place on the 900 block of Rosemont Avenue North in Union Township in the early morning hours of May 13.

Upon their arrival, officers discovered Gaffney’s body. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

According to authorities, Macchia and Gaffney engaged in a physical altercation outside the bar. After separating briefly, the two men reengaged in a second altercation.

In the course of that second altercation, Macchia fired his service weapon multiple times, fatally striking Gaffney, according to the Union County Prosecutor’s Office.

Macchia turned himself in to authorities Wednesday afternoon. His bail has been set at $100,000.

If convicted, he faces between 5-10 years in state prison.

Anyone with information about this matter is still being urged to contact Prosecutor’s Office Detective Kalebota at 908-527-4567.


  1. It’s the Township of Union,
    Union Township is in Hunterdon County

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