Prosecutor: Armed Robber Shot, Killed by Police in Leonia

Leonia and Palisades Park police officers shot and killed the suspect Sunday, according to the Bergen County Prosecutor.

A knife-wielding assailant was shot and killed by three police officers after he robbed a CVS pharmacy in Leonia Sunday afternoon, authorities said.

In a statement issued late Sunday, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli identified the alleged robber as 47-year-old Leonia resident Rickey L. McFadden. Police were called to the Broad Avenue pharmacy around 4:30 p.m. after McFadden pulled a “large knife” and stole cash along with other goods, the prosecutor said.

Three Palisades Park police officers and one Leonia officer “engaged” McFadden, who was carrying the knife and had fled on foot northbound along Broad Avenue, then down Hillside Avenue, according to Molinelli. About two blocks from the store three of the four officers opened fire on McFadden at Hillside Avenue and Kingsley Street.

He was later pronounced dead at Hackensack University Medical Center. The police officers were not injured, but three were taken to Englewood Hospital and Medical Center for observation.

“Recovered at the scene was the knife believed to have been used in the robbery, a mace can believed to have been used by one of the officers, and the items taken from the CVS store, as well as numerous other items which cannot be disclosed at this time,” Molinelli said. 

The three officers had retained attorneys and prosecutor’s office detectives were expected to question them, Molinelli said. Investigations also had “numerous” witnesses to the robbery and events that followed.

One witness, who declined to be identified, told Patch an officer had first tried to subdue McFadden with pepper-spray before the gunfire erupted. 

Quin November 26, 2012 at 03:46 AM
Knife VS Gun=Overkill, in my humble opinion. Yeah, I know somebody else was at risk, but there's got to be some way of ending these situations without bullets. I mean seriously, brains before bullets. If a fictitious motorcycle gang has that motto, why can't law enforcement in real life exercise that same caution. We don't know his motives now because he's dead. We can guess, but we aren't sure.
Judith E. Small November 26, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Why is it always kill kill. I thought cops went to some kind of training to learn how to subdue someone that is dangerous. Why is it always KILL first and ask questions LATER with these cops?
Gabriel Francis November 26, 2012 at 09:11 PM
You guys are so right. A robbery suspect with a large knife and a history of resisting arrest. The cops should have just run away. Or maybe they should have just shot the knife out of his hand like they do in the movies. Or maybe they should have waited until he actually stabbed one of the cops. Or maybe they should have used the batman utility belt to subdue him with a net. You weren't there and you certainly are not familiar with the AG guidelines on the use of force, so hold off on condemning the cops.
William Mays November 26, 2012 at 11:51 PM
I usually don't agree with what the cops around here do, but that guy came at them with a knife, I think that their actions are fully justified in this case.
The Stig November 27, 2012 at 12:13 AM
You are soooo right. Better that one or two of the cops should have been stabbed first before they took down a dangerous maniac with a large knife, then all of your liberal sensibilities would have been satisfied.
The Thorn November 27, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Legalize Tasers
John November 27, 2012 at 01:59 AM
Quin and judith you are both idiots. I would like to give you a logical rational as to why the officers used deadly force but all i can say is i will be happy to see you use your "brains" when a knife weilding criminal is coming at you
The Thorn November 27, 2012 at 02:11 AM
So a POS decides to rob a store with a knife, he gets confronted by LEOs, he resists and he gets shot/killed......what is the problem? Saves taxpayers money for prosecuting and housing him in prison. Don't blame the cops, blame the guy that decided to rob the CVS with a knife. The problem with society today is no one wants to be accountable for their actions. They look to blame someone for their misfortune.
Bobthebuilder November 27, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Did they ever figure out that the first officer that arrived had his gun out first, which probably provoked the entire scenario?
John November 27, 2012 at 04:06 AM
bobthebuilder, I guess it was the cops that provoked him to rob a store with that knife. Another idiot who doesn't know what he talking about.
Dave November 27, 2012 at 07:01 AM
Oh the police provoked the incident and not the actor who just robbed the cvs with a weapon? I see. Dozens of witnesses ..The police should simply speak softly to the schitzo wielding the knife at the officers . Your right, the criminal' s safety should superceed the reponding officers safety. Screw the cop, the law, his love for the job, his love for his wife, his love for his children. Remember, The police did not create the deadly situation....but due to their sworm oath and job description, are responsible to bringing the deadly situation presented to them, to an end before innocent people can be hurt. Think it's easy? Man up and lets see you do it. Police run towards the danger as you run away. Sick men with knives are just as dangerous lucid men with knives. They both have knives and when they do not comply with officers instructions,sick or sane, are putting everyone on scene in danger. Some say use tasers..but of course, NJ is the only state in the country that cannot use them yet....see a small percentage of people may die as a result of being tased......go figure. I say to the men and women in blue, do what it takes to go home to your families. The situations are not started by you, but by job description, and sworn oath to protect and serve are legally mandated to handle each and every shit show that comes before you. God bless those who put their asses on the line for us, our families, and loved ones.
John November 27, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Wake up Bobthebuilder and start using that tiny brain of yours. The original call was an armed robbery! What do you think they are going to have out first "pen and Paper".
Art Elmers November 27, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Tragedy. I think this is a word that describes what happened here. I read the article in the Record this morning concerning this shooting. It appears that the Mr. McFadden was a local resident that had mental issues, was on medication, and used that CVS store often. His motive for robbing the store is off course unknown, but can best be described as strange. He was well know to the Police for years and in fact was arrested last year for "resisting arrest". Now, I ask all to put yourselves in the shoes of these officers. If you feel that yourself or another officer is in danger you do what your training tells you to. In this case this led to the use of lethal force. I am sure that these actions will follow these officers the rest of their lives. Those actions will also weigh heavily on the McFadden family. They grieve the loss of a troubled soul. Did he deserve to give up his life? That is a question we as a society need to ask ourselves. Instead of looking to cast blame, either on the officers or Mr McFadden, we need to try to learn from this. How do we identify mentally distressed individuals. And, in a situation like this how do we use non-lethal force. From reading other comments above, it appears that Tazers are not allowed in NJ. Maybe this and other "non-lethal" tools need to be available to officers trained in their use. In either case we are left with this tragedy.
Baba O'Riley November 27, 2012 at 02:59 PM
For the Police Officers involved it is better to be judged by 13 (a judge and jury) than by 1 (a criminal).
P.Leigh November 27, 2012 at 05:01 PM
I'm reading all of these comments and it really bothers me that you can all have your say on wether the cops did the right thing or not. None of us will know because we were not there. But, I dare say that when you are dealing with a person who has mental illness, and you corner them or make them feel attacked in someway, you are going to get a response such as his. The cops should also have been trained to deal with irrationally mental ill people. This man was known by the Leonia police for over 30 years. He lived in this nice, perfect little town and they forgot that at the moment because he had a "knife"??? Knife vs gun...now don't get me wrong yes the cops should protect themselves as well, but I don't understand the MULTIPLE times this man got shot in the chest and the back...WHY the overkill. Why not shoot him in the leg or arm...why is is that death is the only answer to cops with a gun...Let's not be so quick to believe everything we read in the papers either, because this man had a family, who knew him, just as we all have families and none of us are immune to having someone we care about being mentally ill today or in the future....so stop bashing either side. No one is born or asked to be mentally ill, in this turbaulant world we live in today anyone is at risk for a breakdown...
P.Leigh November 27, 2012 at 05:02 PM
I agree with you...thank you for your intelligent response.
P.Leigh November 27, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Mays, Yes, until its a family member of your or until it is someone you know...
shimon baum November 27, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.
JamesTS November 27, 2012 at 09:54 PM
correct Shimon. People are crazy to think that the police should find some other way to deal with a man carrying a "large knife" who robbed a store!! Getting hit with that knife coud kill just like a gun. I read the family is saying he was a nice guy blah blah.. it's sad but you know what the police did what they needed to do to protect the public.
John November 27, 2012 at 09:56 PM
P Leigh maybe the cops should have shot the knife out of his hand like John Wayne. You're stupid
William Mays November 28, 2012 at 05:21 AM
This has nothing to do with liberals, lets not start a political argument.


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