Teen accused in NJ cop's death charged with murder

May 28, 2011 - 10:29 PM
Newark Shooting

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray, left, and acting Newark Police Director Samuel DeMaio, right, listen as Mayor Cory Booker answers a question during a news conference Friday, May 27, 2011, in Newark, N.J., Booker announced the name of the off-duty police officer who was killed in a drive-by shooting at a Newark fast-food restaurant that also wounded two civilians. Newark police veteran William C. Johnson, in photo at right, died of his wounds. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A prosecutor says charges against a 19-year-old man accused in a drive-by shooting that killed an off-duty police officer in Newark, N.J., have been upgraded to include murder.

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carol A. Murray said Saturday night that Rasul McNeill-Thomas is being charged with first-degree murder in the death of Officer William Johnson.

The shooting happened Thursday night at a fast-food pizza restaurant. Two other people were wounded.

McNeill-Thomas is also charged with two counts of aggravated assault, carjacking, conspiracy and weapons offenses. His bail was raised to $1.5 million, up from $300,000 Friday. It wasn't clear whether he had an attorney, and a call to the Essex County Jail rang unanswered Saturday night.

Police believe a second suspect was the shooter. No other arrests have been made.