By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Yesterday at approximately 9:30 p.m., the North Bergen Police Department received a call regarding a man shot inside of a vehicle on Durham Avenue.
Responding officers found Alexander Vazquez, 32, an off-duty North Bergen police sergeant, inside of a parked vehicle suffering from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.
Vazquez was immediately transported to a trauma center nearby to receive medical treatment for life threatening injuries, officials said.
The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Division is the lead investigating agency with the North Bergen Police Department providing support.
Vazquez is a highly decorated and officer with over 12 years of police service, having once served on-loan to the FBI Violent Crimes Taskforce.
“Alex Vazquez was a stand-out athlete and district champion wrestler for the North Bergen High School. As a North Bergen Police Officer he is regarded by his peers as a leader and a good friend to many in the department. I am praying for Alex and his family during this trying time,” Mayor Nick Sacco said in a statement.
“Alex is more than just a member of the North Bergen Police Department to me. I coached him in wrestling and I am proud to be personal friends with him and his family. The Chief and I were on scene last night and we are all here to support the Vazquez family in any way we can,” added Commissioner of Public Safety Allen Pascual.
Police Chief Robert Dowd said “the entire department is in shock” over the incident and prayers are with Vazquez’s parents, his wife, Natalie, and their children.
He also thanked the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, the Jersey City, Hoboken, West New York, Union City, and Fairview Police Departments for providing additional manpower and resources to the North Bergen Police Department during this crisis last night.