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Leonardis Charged with Attempted Murder

Photo Courtesy: BCPO

Robert Leonardis, 22, of Hackensack, has also been charged with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, possession of a handgun without a permit and obstruction. Bail has been set for $1.5 million; however Leonardis remains at Hackensack University Medical Center, recovering from injuries sustained after being struck multiple times by the police who returned fire. He is expected to recover, officials said.

At approximately 1 a.m. on July 22, Hackensack police received a call about an armed man near the public housing complex on Railroad Avenue and Newman Street. When officers arrived, the suspect, now identified as Leonardis, was walking between the buildings. When he noticed police, Leonardis allegedly attempted to flee by foot and opened fire on two officers, Hackensack Police Director Michael Mordaga said.

One of the bullets hit the front of a police car and another went through the windshield, nearly striking Officer Joseph Ayoubi, Mordaga explained. Ayoubi and Officer Brett McCarthy, who was in a separate patrol car, returned fire, striking the suspect several times.

A .45-caliber handgun was recovered at the scene.

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