CRANBURY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) — Authorities have identified the man shot and killed in a police-involved shooting that occurred at a service area on the New Jersey Turnpike Thursday afternoon.
Authorities identified him as Christopher Angelo Pizzichetta, 46, of Lewes, Delaware.
Officials say several members of the New Jersey State Police in four unmarked police vehicles were conducting undercover operations targeting narcotics and other criminal activity.
One of the officers spotted Pizzichetta parked in a remote area and authorities say it appeared he was “shooting up” heroin.
Troopers say when they attempted to park near him to observe what he was doing, he drove to an area on the south end of the parking lot.
The troopers then implemented a plan to prevent him from leaving the location.
Authorities say at least three State Police vehicles moved in to block his truck, but he attempted to flee.
Authorities say he then struck two of the police vehicles prompting the troopers to pursue him. Pizzichetta then cut across a median where another trooper was standing.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, witnesses said Pizzichetta sped directly at the trooper, who was wearing a holster and weapon, and was clearly identifiable as an officer.
That trooper fired multiple rounds from his handgun through Pizzichetta’s windshield, striking the upper part of his body.
Pizzichetta’s vehicle continued a short distance at a high rate of speed and crashed into a concrete retaining wall.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities say a syringe and empty glassine were found in his pickup truck, along with numerous other glassines containing suspected heroin.
None of the troopers were injured, but the trooper who fired his weapon was taken to the hospital for evaluation.
The shooting is being investigated by the Attorney General’s Shooting Response Team.