UPDATE: Bridgeton Man Found Guilty in Connection with Shooting of NJ State Police Detective in 2020 in Pittsgrove

For Immediate Release: May 31, 2023

Office of the Attorney General
– Matthew J. Platkin, Attorney General
Office of Public Integrity and Accountability
– Thomas J. Eicher, Executive Director

For Further Information:

Media Inquiries-
Dan Prochilo

SALEM, N.J. — Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin today announced the conviction of one of the defendants charged in the shooting of a New Jersey State Police detective in 2020 while the detective was investigating a home invasion at a Salem County mobile home park.

Tremaine Hadden, 30, of Bridgeton, N.J., was found guilty of six counts by a Salem County jury: aggravated assault, conspiracy, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and certain persons not to possess weapons — all second-degree offenses — as well as third-degree riot. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on a charge of attempted murder.

Hadden was one of 14 defendants indicted in connection with an incident on Saturday, April 25, 2020, that culminated with the shooting of New Jersey State Police (NJSP) Detective Richard Hershey in Pittsgrove, N.J.

“Those who resort to violence against our courageous men and women in uniform as they try to do their duty and protect the public will be held accountable,” said Attorney General Platkin. “Law enforcement officers daily put themselves in danger in service to their communities, and my office will prosecute criminals who threaten or injure them to the fullest extent of the law. We look forward to bringing the remaining defendants in this case to justice.”

“We are gratified that the jury convicted Tremaine Hadden after he shot one of New Jersey’s finest while acting in the line of duty,” said Thomas Eicher, Executive Director of the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA). “Hadden and the other defendants demonstrated contempt for the law and for law enforcement. By heroically confronting this mob and putting his own life at risk, Detective Hershey likely saved others from injury or worse.”

“This brazen assault on Detective Richard Hershey endangered the lives of innocent bystanders, and by standing his ground while outnumbered and under a barrage of gunfire, Detective Hershey undoubtedly prevented this from becoming a mass casualty incident,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “We never relented in our pursuit to hold these individuals accountable for their violent criminal conduct.”

The conviction stems from an investigation by NJSP, OPIA and the Division of Criminal Justice. According to the evidence, Detective Hershey was investigating a home invasion in which a woman was beaten and robbed at the Harding Woods mobile home park on Harding Highway in Pittsgrove on April 25, 2020.

While Detective Hershey was at the scene of that crime, which had occurred several hours earlier, a hostile mob of 15 people linked to the assailants in the home invasion arrived in a caravan of five vehicles — intending to attack and injure a resident at the mobile home park and damage her residence. The members of the caravan were armed with at least two handguns, one knife, and one bottle.

Some members of the caravan exited their vehicles and confronted Detective Hershey, who identified himself as a law enforcement officer and gave commands in an effort to control the intruders. Hadden along with two others, Najzeir “Naz” Hutchings and Kareen “Kai” Warner, who are both from Bridgeton and pleaded guilty to aggravated assault earlier this month, opened fire on Detective Hershey at approximately 10:40 p.m.

Hadden fired at Detective Hershey numerous times from one vehicle, while Hutchings and Warner shot at him numerous times from another vehicle. Detective Hershey was struck in the hip and seriously wounded. He returned fire with his service weapon and the suspects fled the scene.

Hadden faces over 40 years in prison when he is sentenced by state Superior Court Judge John Eastlack presiding in Salem County on August 11, 2023.

The remaining suspects were charged with second-degree conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and third-degree rioting, while some were additionally charged with weapons offenses.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Erik Daab and Deputy Attorneys General Nicole Wise and Jennifer Davis, along with Trial Assistants Nathalie Kurzawa and Maureen Hitchens, DCJ Media Specialist Erika Neary, Deputy Attorney General Abigail R. Holmes, Deputy Chief of the OPIA Integrity Bureau Debra Conrad, and OPIA Executive Director Eicher.

The shooting investigation was conducted by the New Jersey State Police, specifically the Major Crime Unit South, Troop “A” Criminal Investigation Office, Crime Scene Investigation Unit and Cold Case Unit of the New Jersey State Police, Office of Public Integrity and Accountability, Division of Criminal Justice, and arrests were made by the New Jersey State Police Fugitive and TEAMS Units. Assistance was provided by the U.S. Marshals Service NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Defense attorney for Hadden: Jordan G. Zeitz, Media, PA


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