TO: ALL NEWS MEDIA
FROM: ACTING PROSECUTOR GURBIR S. GREWAL
DATE: OCTOBER 21, 2016
On Thursday, October 20, 2016, detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Squad under the direction of Officer-In-Charge, Deputy Chief Robert ANZILOTTI, along with detectives from the Garfield Police Department under the direction of Officer-In-Charge, Captain Raymond KOVACH, and detectives from the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office Bureau of Criminal Identification Crime Scene Unit under the direction of Sheriff Michael SAUDINO investigated a shooting that occurred at "Tobacco Road," located at 320 River Drive in Garfield, New Jersey. The store sells tobacco and other smoking products.
At approximately 7:11 p.m., the Garfield Police Department received a 9-1-1 call reporting an armed robbery attempt and shooting at Tobacco Road. The caller identified himself as a retired New York City Police Detective, who was working in the store at the time of the robbery and shooting. Also in the store at the time were the store’s owner, along with the owner’s wife and son. The caller reported that a masked man, who was also wearing a hooded sweatshirt, had entered the store, produced a handgun, pointed it at the store owner and his wife, and declared: "This is a robbery!" At that time, the caller attempted to physically disarm the male, but during the effort he was pushed to the ground by the suspect. While on the ground, the caller, who was armed with a handgun, stated that he was able to fire one shot at the suspect, which struck the suspect in a lower extremity. According to the caller, the suspect immediately fled the store on foot and the caller pursued him.
Through subsequent investigation, the suspect was ultimately located and arrested in the area of Pierre Street, adjacent to the train tracks, near the Garfield Police Department. The suspect was identified as LOUIS PIZZI (DOB: 11/16/1988), with a last known address of 125 Franklin Ave. in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey. PIZZI had sustained a gunshot wound to his upper left leg.
During a search of the area, Garfield Police detectives found the handgun believed to be used by PIZZI, along with several items of clothing believed to have been discarded by PIZZI following the robbery attempt. PIZZI was transported to Hackensack University Medical Center where he remains in stable condition.
PIZZI was charged with the following offenses: Armed Robbery, 2C:15-1a(2) – a first degree crime; Possession of A Weapon for Unlawful Purpose, 2C:39-4 – a second degree crime; Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, 2C:39-5 -- a third degree crime; and Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons, 2C:39-7, a fourth degree crime.
PIZZI was remanded to the custody of the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office. Bail was set at $500,000 with no 10% option, by the Honorable Susan J. Steele, P.J.Cr. of the Bergen County Superior Court in Hackensack, New Jersey. A first appearance was scheduled for Monday, October 24, 2016 at 9:30 a.m.
Acting Prosecutor Grewal would like to thank members of the Garfield Police and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Department for their assistance in this investigation, which is continuing at this time. Acting Prosecutor Grewal states that these charges are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.