N.J.: Two off-duty corrections officers shot, one dead

By Bonnie Pfister, The Associated Press

N.J. -- In a shooting described as "wanton violence" by officials, an off-duty corrections officer was killed and another injured outside a Jersey City nightclub early Saturday morning, authorities said.

Dead at scene from a gunshot wound to the back was 45-year old Samuel Broughton, a 12-year veteran of the Hudson County Corrections Department, officials said. Twenty-four year old Brandon Holmes, who has been a corrections officer for three years, was shot in the leg but survived.

Neither officer was armed or in uniform, said Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio.

The officers were heading toward the parking lot next to the Blue Ribbon Summit House, a club on Journal Square, just before 3 a.m. when a man they had argued with inside fired at them with semiautomatic pistol, DeFazio said.

"This was apparently a completely unwarranted act of wanton violence," DeFazio said. "It's tragic. A 45-year-old man was killed. He didn't have anything to do with anything."

DeFazio said witnesses told law enforcement officials that the argument inside the club was verbal, not physical. Broughton and Holmes are not believed to have known the assailant, and it was not believed they were targeted because they were law enforcement officers, he said.

Police are searching for a single assailant, an adult black man who left in a vehicle DeFazio declined to describe. No weapon was recovered in a search of the area, near the Journal Square PATH station.

The club used to be an Italian restaurant called the Summit House and was purchased earlier this year by former Los Angeles Clippers basketball player Terry Dehere, a Jersey City native. Along with his co-owner, Dehere refurbished it as a restaurant and club.

Phone messages left at the club and at a number listed in directory assistance in the name the club's co-owner were not immediately returned Saturday.

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