2 state troopers hurt in shooting

BRANCHVILLE. Nicolas Martinez, 27, was taken into custody after a 10-hour standoff at motel.

| 02 Feb 2024 | 11:27

Two New Jersey state troopers were injured and Nicolas Martinez, 27, was taken into custody Wednesday morning, Jan. 31 at the Cobmin Ridge Motel on Route 206 in Branchville, officials said.

Attorney General Matthew Platkin, New Jersey State Police Superintendent Patrick Callahan and Acting Sussex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray said the incident began as a welfare check about 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30.

Troopers arrived at the motel and made contact with Martinez, who was staying in one of the rooms. He refused to leave and began to fire a weapon out of the room in the direction of the State Police TEAMS (Technical Emergency and Mission Specialist) unit.

About 4 a.m. Wednesday, after hours of failed attempts to negotiate with Martinez, State Police TEAMS breached the motel room. Martinez then fired multiple rounds from an air rifle at officers, injuring two troopers.

Martinez was taken into custody. He was charged with two counts of attempted murder, terroristic threats, unlawful possession of an air rifle and related weapons crimes.

The Division of Criminal Justice, State Police Major Crimes Unit, and the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office are investigating.

Wantage man now faces murder charge

Daniel Simpson of Wantage has been charged with murder in the shooting and killing of Donald Simpson on Jan. 22 in Wantage, acting Sussex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray said Jan. 26.

He also faces two counts of animal cruelty in the shooting of two dogs.

Daniel Simpson earlier was charged with attempted murder after New Jersey State Police found his father, Donald, laying on his kitchen floor with an apparent gunshot wound.

Donald Simpson, 70, was medically evacuated via helicopter to Morristown Medical Center. He died of his injuries Jan. 25.

Two weapons recovered in connection with the shooting were confirmed to be registered to Daniel Simpson: a Ruger Newton .22 caliber rifle and a .45 caliber Springfield Armory 1911 handgun. Multiple .22 caliber shell casings were found in the home.

The New Jersey State Police Major Crimes Unit took the lead in the investigation and arrest of Daniel Simpson with help from Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit. The investigation is continuing.