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8 charged in home invasion, shooting of state trooper

April 28, 2020 GMT

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A southern New Jersey man has been charged with attempted murder for allegedly firing at a state trooper who was investigating reports of a home invasion robbery, state police said.

State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and State Police Superintendent Patrick Callahan announced charges Tuesday against five women and three men. Najzeir Hutchings, 21, of Bridgeton, was charged with attempted murder of a police officer.

According to state and local authorities, five women ranging in age from 22 to 52 forced their way into a residence in a mobile home park in Pittsgrove on Saturday night and assaulted a woman and stole her cell phone. The woman suffered a broken rib and lacerated lung.

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Several hours later, a group of people drove to the park and confronted State Police Det. Richard Hershey, who was investigating the incident. According to state police, Hutchings opened fire, wounding Hershey in the upper leg. Hershey returned fire, wounding a woman in the leg.

Hershey was in stable condition at Cooper University Hospital in Camden after undergoing surgery. The woman was treated and released.

Two other men with Hutchings were charged with weapons offenses. The five women were charged with aggravated assault, robbery and burglary. All were being held at the Salem County jail and face detention hearings scheduled for Thursday. It wasn’t immediately known if Hutchings had retained an attorney.