ELIZABETH – The suspect in a fatal shooing committed suicide last week, authorities said.
Samuel Diaz, 39, allegedly shot Jesus Mastre, 35, at an auto repair business on Second Street in Elizabeth around 4 p.m. on Sept. 24, according to Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow.
Mastre was taken to University Hospital in Newark where he underwent surgery. He remained in critical condition until he died Saturday, said Romankow.
The Union County Homicide Task Force conducted an investigation and identified Diaz, of Linden, as the primary suspect in the case. Authorities believe that Diaz had once dated Mastre’s current girlfriend.
On Friday morning, Linden Police Officer Angel Padilla was traveling in a marked police vehicle along Linden Avenue when he noticed a man walking south who fit Diaz’ description. When the officer made a U-turn to get a closer look, the man –later identified as Diaz – pulled out a handgun and fatally shot himself, authorities said.
Diaz was taken to University Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 9:09 a.m. Friday. Padilla never exchanged words with Diaz and was still in his car and a good distance away from where the suspect killed himself, according to Linden Police Chief Michael Boyle.
No one else was injured.
Ballistics tests were performed over the weekend and determined that the bullet that killed Mastre and the one used in Diaz’ suicide were fired from the same gun, said Romankow.
“We believe this was an isolated event, a personal matter,” said Romankow. “Several families have suffered because of this but there is no danger to the community at large.”
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