TOMS RIVER–Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato today announced the sentencing of Jaime Gonzalez, 43, of Lakewood for the 2009 shooting of Lakewood Police Officers. The Honorable Francis R. Hodgson, Jr., J.S.C. sentenced Gonzalez to 45 years, with no chance of parole until 29 ½ years of his sentence is served. The case investigated by the Lakewood Police Department, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, and Federal Department of ATF was prosecuted by Ocean County Executive Assistant Prosecutor Michel A. Paulhus. “Today’s sentencing rids society of a truly callous individual. Who in his actions, showed no regard for the lives of the Lakewood Offices,” said Prosecutor Coronato. “I commend these dedicated officers for their heroic response under fire and their selfless service to the citizens of Ocean County”
The case dates back to September 24, 2009, when shortly after 2:00 a.m., the Lakewood Police Department Entry Team executed a court-authorized no-knock search warrant of defendant Jaime Gonzalez’s residence at 1154 Mackenzie Court, Lakewood, New Jersey.
The search warrant was obtained because Gonzalez was the subject of an investigation involving his sale of illegal controlled dangerous substances. The entry team consisted of Lakewood Township Police Officers: Leroy Marshall, Leonard Nieves, Sr., John Wilson, Robert Lopez, Jason Diffoot, Sergeant Louis Sasso, Sergeant Glenn Clayton, Robert Desimone, Eric Mench, Leonard Nieves, Jr., and Lieutenant Greg Myer. When Gonzalez heard the sound of the entry team’s battering ram, he pulled a stolen five-shot 357 caliber revolver from his waistband, opened fire, and emptied it in the direction of the officers.
In response, members of the team fired back. A firefight between Gonzalez and the police ensued, during which time officers were yelling, “Police, police, stop shooting, put down the gun.” When the shooting ended Gonzalez was taken into custody, but his actions resulted in Lieutenant Myer suffering a bullet wound to his foot, Sergeant Sasso being struck by a bullet in his upper chest, which was fortunately stopped his bullet proof vest, and a not so fortunate Officer Wilson suffering a bullet wound to the head resulting in permanent loss of vision in his left eye.
On February 15, 2013, an Ocean County Jury found Gonzalez guilty of the following: Aggravated Assault by Attempting to Cause Bodily Injury to Leroy Marshall; Attempted Murder of Leonard Nieves, Sr.; Attempted Murder of John Wilson; Aggravated Assault by Causing Bodily Injury to John Wilson; Attempted Murder of Robert Lopez; Aggravated Assault by Attempting to Cause Bodily Injury to Robert Lopez; Attempted Murder of Jason Diffoot; Aggravated Assault by Attempting to Cause Bodily Injury to Jason Diffoot; Attempted Murder of Louis Sasso; Aggravated Assault by Causing Bodily Injury to Louis Sasso; Aggravated Assault by Causing Bodily Injury to Glenn Clayton; Aggravated Assault by Attempting to Cause Bodily Injury to Robert DeSimone; Attempted Murder of Erick Menck; Aggravated Assault by Attempting to Cause Bodily Injury to Erick Menck; Aggravated Assault by Attempting to Cause Bodily Injury to Greg Myer; Aggravated Assault by Pointing a Firearm at John Wilson, Robert Lopez, Louis Sasso, Glenn Clayton and Greg Myer; Fortifying 1154 Mackenzie Court for the Purpose of Illegal Drug Activity; Possessing a Firearm While Engaged in Certain Drug Activity; Possession of a Firearm for an Unlawful Purpose; Receiving Stolen Property; Possession of 5 Ounces or More of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute; Possession of Cocaine; Possession of 3-4 Methylenedioxymethamphetamine; Possession of Alprazolam; Possession of 50 Grams or More of Marijuana; Possession With Intent to Distribute 1 Ounce or More, But Less Than 5 Pounds of Marijuana; and Possession of a Prohibited Weapon.