Caregiver Shot by Off-Duty Camden Officer Getting Better

Unidentified caregiver is recovering after he and a man with autism in his care are shot outside an officer's home

By Vince Lattanzio
|  Tuesday, Mar 12, 2013  |  Updated 7:56 AM EDT
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Shot Caregiver May Be Released from Hospital Soon

NBC10 Philadelphia

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A caregiver of a man with autism critically injured after being shot by an off-duty Camden Police officer may soon be out of the hospital.

The unidentified caregiver was shot in the chest outside a home along the 2800 block of Arthur Avenue in Camden, N.J. on February 22, according to Camden County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Jason Laughlin. The man was attempting to get control of a 21-year-old man with autism in his care when the shooting happened.

Investigators say the man with autism was being dropped off at his home when he ran across the street to his neighbor’s home and started banging on the front door.

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The homeowner, identified by sources as Camden Police Officer Joseph Ziegler, told investigators he feared his home was being broken into and began shooting, according to Laughlin. Both the caregiver and man with autism were hit.

The man with autism was shot in the arm and later released from the hospital. The caregiver was critically injured and rushed to Cooper University Hospital where he’s remained, Laughlin says.

Laughlin tells NBC10.com the caregiver is “doing a lot better.” He says the man is now in stable condition and will most likely be released from the hospital soon.

Ziegler, a 12-year veteran of the Camden Police force, has been on administrative leave since the shooting. Laughlin says the investigation is still “open” and that he can’t comment further on the case. He says the investigation will likely remain at that status for months. 

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