Told dispatcher he was “looking to escalate” situation, but didn’t want to kill anyone else.
By Louis C. Hochman
Originally published on Jefferson Patch · October 18, 2011
The man who killed Jefferson resident Christine King Friday night in Mountain Lakes didn’t expect to live much longer.
In a 911 call released by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Tuesday, Exit Realty Gold agent Leonardo Parera told a dispatcher blankly that he’d just killed someone in the office—later determined to be King, a receptionist. He both encouraged the dispatcher to send officers, and threatened he’d shoot at any who came his way.
“You know what? I’m armed. I’m dangerous. Send the cops out,” Parera said. “I’m in a parking lot. I can see from any angle. I will shoot at anyone who approaches the car.”
When police arrived at the scene, Parera did indeed open fire—and was killed as officers shot back, Morris County Prosecutor Robert A. Bianchi has said.
When the dispatcher asked Parera for his name, Parera answered, “I’m sure when you get my driver’s license, you’ll know. Just send the cops out.”
And moments later, he told the dispatcher: “I need to make some calls and let people know I’m going to be dead now.”
In the early portion of the call, the dispatcher worked to determine what’s happened and where, so that officers could be sent to the scene. He asked Parera if he’s armed, and was told Parera has a long-range rifle and handguns.
The dispatcher encouraged Parera to share enough information so that police can find him, asking about details such as Parera’s location, and the color of his car. Though occasionally audibly frustrated, Parera provided each detail with little hesitation.
When Parera said he would be dead soon, the dispatcher answered: “I’d rather you not kill yourself or kill anybody else. It’s a little bit more important to me that you stay alive.”
“I need to call and tell that them I’m going to be dead soon, so …” Parera said.
“You don’t have to go anywhere. You can stay on the phone with me. We can de-escalate this and make things better, OK,” the dispatcher said.
“We’re not going to de-escalate this. I’m looking to escalate,” Parera said.
Bianchi said Tuesday determining whether Parera had indeed called anyone else after speaking to the dispatcher “is part of our overall investigation.”
The last thing Parera said before hanging up and ending the 5-minute call: “Tell the officers that I don’t want to kill anybody else.”
Parera was killed Friday after an exchange of gunfire that Bianchi said endangered officers’ lives. A preliminary investigation found officers’ use of deadly force was justified in the encounter with Paerera, which occurred as civilians were barricaded in three office buildings in Exit Realty’s complex, Bianchi said.
Several questions remain around what prompted Parera to kill King as she sat behind her desk Friday afternoon. Officials haven’t yet discussed any motive Parera might have had, and DailyRecord.com reported Monday police didn’t find anything at his Kearny apartment to indicate his intentions.
King, a wife mother of two, was born in Elizabeth, according to her obituary. She’d been the past president of the PTA in the Jefferson Township School System the treasurer of the Jefferson Township volleyball team.
Friends and loved ones remembered her as a generous volunteer who always wore a smile. “Heaven is lucky to have someone like you. Your boys will have the best guardian angel anyone could ask for,” resident Nancy Natoli wrote as a comment on Patch.com article about King’s death.
Her family will receive visitors on Thursday, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. with a 5:30 pm prayer service, at the Stickle-Soltesz Funeral Home, 187 LaRue Road, Newfoundland.
The family is asking that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to: Jefferson Township Volleyball Team or to the Jefferson Township Hockey League, both at 1010 Weldon Road, Oak Ridge, NJ 07438.