A frenzied manhunt for a suspected cop killer ended early Sunday morning in the bedroom of a Camden apartment, where a SWAT team arrested the 19-year-old suspect without incident.
Just over 38 hours after Lakewood Patrolman Christopher Matlosz was gunned down behind the wheel of his patrol car, a 15-member task force of State Police and U.S. Marshals officers surrounded an apartment where a tipster told police they could find the suspect, Jahmell W. Crockam.
"We were able to get consent for entry, and it was over very quickly," said State Police Maj. Edward Cetnar. "He was upstairs in the bedroom."
Ten of the officers raced into the apartment at about 6:30 a.m. and quickly arrested Crockam, who did not put up any resistance. He did not seem surprised that authorities had tracked him down, Cetnar said.
Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford said detectives got information that Crockam had fled to Camden and was hiding in a unit of the Crestbury Apartments.
"This concludes a massive effort by law enforcement to apprehend a person we feel is responsible for the death of Officer Matlosz," Ford said. "The arrest of this suspect now allows the Lakewood Police Department and the family and friends of Officer Matlosz an opportunity to grieve, to give tribute to their colleague, friend and loved one."
State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes said all law enforcement officers were affected by the killing.
"There's no joy in catching an accused cop killer, only the satisfaction of knowing that no one rested until the job was done," he said.
Crockam was charged Saturday with murder and weapons offenses.
The suspect was returned to Lakewood, booked in police headquarters, and transferred to the Ocean County Jail in Toms River. He is expected to be brought before a judge on Tuesday.