NEWARK, N.J. — 19-year-old Rasul McNeil-Thomas was charged with murder yesterday for killing an off-duty police officer in a drive-by shooting.
William C. Johnson, 45, a 16-year veteran of the Newark Police Department, who was assigned to the communications division, was unarmed and not working when he was shot shortly before 10 p.m. Thursday night at Texas Fried Chicken and Pizza on Lyons Avenue in the city’s South Ward, according to officials. He was pronounced dead at 3:10 a.m. Friday at University Hospital.
Rasul McNeil-Thomas also was charged with two counts of aggravated assault and additional weapons offenses for the shooting of two other victims during the incident, authorities said. Officials said a second suspect is still at-large.
A vigil is planned for Johnson Tuesday night, 6 p.m., at the restaurant’s intersection, according to a spokesman with the Newark Anti-Violence Coalition.