News Clip: Jefferson Woman’s Killer ID’d as Coworker

Both dead after incident Friday night.

Reporting for the following piece involved several Patch.com staff members, under the direction of Louis C. Hochman, who also wrote the text. Patch updated this story several times over the day.

Originally published on Jefferson Patch · October 15, 2011

Police have identified the man who shot and killed a Jefferson woman in Mountain Lakes Friday—before being killed by police himself—as a coworker from Kearny.

Leonardo Parera as seen on his Facebook pageMorris County Prosecutor Robert A. Bianchi said Saturday that Leonardo Parera, a real estate agent at Exit Realty Gold in Mountain Lakes, killed receptionist Christine King. Law enforcement had not previously disclosed King’s identity.

King, 47, lived in the Oak Ridge section of Jefferson Township. Attempts by Patch to reach family members Saturday were not successful.

While the investigation continued Saturday and new findings were released to the public, law enforcement officials have yet to make any comment on why Parera shot King.

Bianchi said Parera and King had both worked in their office on Route 46 Friday. Parera entered the office, and shot and killed King while she was seated at her desk, he said.

Parera then left the building, called 911 and told a dispatcher he’d shot and killed someone, Bianchi said. He also said he was heavily armed and would shoot anyone who approaches him, Bianchi said. The prosecutor’s office anticipates releasing a recording of that call later this week.

Parera entered his vehicle and remained in the parking lot, where he stayed until police arrived, Bianchi said. When officers approached, Parera made good on his threat and fired three shots, Binachi said.

“The police officers, fearing for their lives, exchanged fire back, and killed—neutralized the suspect,” Bianchi said.

See here for video of Bianchi’s statement.

Memories of Christine

Patch users who read an earlier report about the shooting described King shared their condolences for her family.

“We did Cub Scouts together and son graduated in June,” Gail Black wrote. “Chris was such a wonderful person. So tragic! Our thoughts and prayers go out to the King family.”

“I met Chris 8 years ago at Milton School when our boys started kindergarten. I have fond memories of her,” Monica Soules wrote. “I will miss you Chris. You are now an Angel in Heaven. You will truly be missed. RIP my friend. xoxoxo.”

Police Response

The Morris County Communications Center’s centralized dispatch and New Jersey State Police first received 911 calls, including Parera’s own, at about 4:44 p.m. Friday. Mountain Lakes, Denville and Parsippany police all responded, and ultimately were joined by other law enforcement agencies, Bianchi said.

Police were told a male shooter, later identified as Parera, had killed a woman inside one of the businesses at 100 Route 46, Bianchi said. They also determined the shooter was sitting in a car in an adjacent lot.

Several employees within the business complex had barricaded themselves in three buildings on the property, Bianchi said. Tactical teams clearing the buildings handcuffed everyone they came across, he said.

“This was a safety measure to ensure that no other suspects were supplanted within the civilian population,” Bianchi said in a statement from his office. Once it was clear that none of the civilians were armed, the handcuffs were removed, he said.

Several prosecutor’s office units, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Unit and the New Jersey State Police Crime Scene Unit were on the scene all night and remained there Saturday, Bianchi said. Also on the scene were the Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Department of Law and Public Safety.

Both King and Parera werre removed from the scene late Friday evening, Bianchi said. Autopsies are in progress, Bainchi said.

Police are asking that anyone with information contact the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office at 973-285-2900 or the Morris County Sheriff’s Office CrimeStopper Program at 973-CopCall.

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