Off-Duty Sheriff's Officer Shot Multiple Times

An off-duty Essex County sheriff's officer was shot "multiple times'' Sunday during a drive-by shooting at his family's liquor store in Paterson.

Authorities tell The Star-Ledger that 37-year-old Oneil Peart was shot in the back and side, while another person was shot in the face. Both were hospitalized in stable condition, but further details on their injuries were not disclosed.

The shooting occurred around 1:30 a.m.

Authorities say Peart was working at the store as a security guard and had gone outside to break up a crowd. Moments later, a vehicle pulled up and at least one person in the auto began shooting.

It's not yet known what sparked the shooting or how many shooters were involved. Authorities have also not said what type of weapon was used.

The Passaic County Prosecutor's Office and Paterson police are handling the investigation. No arrests have been made.

Peart has worked at the Essex County Sheriff's Department for about six years overall. Officials say he helps patrol parks and streets in Newark, Irvington and East Orange. He also worked for two years as a police officer in Baltimore.

The Essex County CrimeStoppers program has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrests of those responsible for the shooting.


Copyright AP - Associated Press
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