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Five people have been arrested in connection with the July 22 shootout between Hackensack police officers and an armed man near the public housing complex on Newman Street.
The investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit led to the arrests for various offenses including the sale of the weapon used by suspected shooter, Robert Leonardis, 22, who remains at Hackensack University Medical Center after being shot by police. Leonardis, who is now facing attempted murder charges, allegedly opened fire on officers, striking a patrol car and narrowly missing Officer Joseph Ayoubi. A .45 caliber handgun was recovered at the scene.
Detectives traced Leonardis’ gun to its origin in Florida, and ultimately identified how he obtained it. A former law enforcement official from Florida sold the gun legally to a pawn shop, which resold the gun to an unidentified individual. The State of Florida has lenient gun laws and only requires a driver’s license for the sale of a gun. During the early morning hours of July 25, detectives conducted several searches, resulting in the five arrests.
Sean Stark, 23, of Paramus, is accused of supplying Leonardis with the gun. He’s been charged with weapons offenses, plus drug distribution, possession of marijuana, ecstasy and psilocybin, also known as psychedelic mushrooms.
Jerry “Angel” Nunez, 21, of Cliffside Park, is accused of importing the handgun into New Jersey via UPS from a connection in Florida. He then sold the gun to Stark for $500, police said. Nunez has been charged with transporting a firearm into New Jersey for unlawful sale, plus possession and distribution of ecstasy and marijuana.
Jorge Alberto Rodriguez, 21, of Pembroke Pines, Fla., is accused of selling the gun to Nunez for $500 and shipping it to New Jersey. Detectives captured Rodriguez with the help of the Broward County Sheriff’s Department on July 30 and charged him with transporting a firearm into New Jersey for an unlawful sale. He remains at the Broward County jail pending extradition to Bergen County.
Christiana Cyriax, 22, of Upper Saddle River, is accused of being involved in drug dealing with her boyfriend, Stark. She has been charged on a summons with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of ecstasy and psilocybin.
Alexander Kim 23, of Paramus, a friend of Stark’s who lives in the same home, has been charged on a summons with possession of ecstasy and drug paraphernalia.
The investigation is continuing.