DEPTFORD TOWNSHIP, NJ (May 31, 2021)--On May 29, 2021, officers from the Deptford Township Police Department responded to the report of a domestic disturbance at a residence on Pasadena Avenue in their municipality. As officers were responding to the scene, multiple gunshots were heard. Upon arrival at the scene, officers determined that an incident had occurred where a Michael F. Dorazo, 41, of Glendora, N.J. had forced entry, brandished and discharged a handgun, and subsequently fled the residence on foot into the surrounding neighborhood. Information developed at the scene disclosed Dorazo was armed with multiple firearms, including twol handguns and a high-power, high-capacity assault weapon. Based on those circumstances, the Gloucester County SWAT Team was immediately deployed, and multiple agencies rapidly responded to assist, including the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, Gloucester Township Police Department tactical assets, New Jersey State Police, the U.S. Marshal’s Service Regional Fugitive Task Force, and the federal ATF.
An extensive search for Dorazo was initiated without pause at multiple locations, continuing into the evening hours during darkness and periods of heavy rain. At approximately 9:45p, a report was received that Dorazo was seen in the Pasadena Avenue neighborhood. Multiple law enforcement personnel from a variety of agencies then blanketed the neighborhood on foot, providing direct support to uniform officers from the Deptford Police Department. Dorazo was subsequently observed moving through the neighborhood and pursued. Personnel converged on Dorazo from several directions, cutting off any prospect for Dorazo to escape. Dorazo, actively armed with the aforementioned rifle and handguns, initially failed to comply with directions to surrender and took steps to deploy a handgun towards officers. Dorazo was tackled and subdued by a Deptford officer, disarmed and arrested.
Dorazo has been charged with a number of offenses, including Attempted Murder, Burglary During Commission of an Attempted Murder and Domestic Violence Incident, Certain Persons Not to Possess Firearms, and Possession of Firearms for an Unlawful Purpose. He is also charged with Resisting Arrest due to his actions during his apprehension.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of their rights as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State Law.
Subsequent to processing, Dorazo was remanded to the custody of the Salem County Correctional Facility pending an initial appearance.
“Acting Prosecutor Christine Hoffman extends her heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to the members of the Deptford Township Police Department under the leadership of Chief Frank Newkirk. DPD played pivotal roles in the initial response, search and high-risk apprehension of a heavily armed and volatile Dorazo under extremely dangerous circumstances. She is also deeply thankful to members of the GCPO, Chief David Harkins and members of the Gloucester Township Police Department, personnel from the New Jersey State Police, US Marshal’s Service personnel deployed by New Jersey United States Marshal Juan Mattos, federal ATF personnel, the Real-Time Crime Center South, and partners from Gloucester County OEM/Public Safety/Communications led by Coordinator Dennis McNulty. This incident exemplified professionalism, partnership and seamless cooperation by law enforcement and public safety personnel committed to protecting the residents of Gloucester County and our local communities.”
Chief Frank Newkirk of the Deptford Police states, “I could not be prouder of personnel under my command. Their exemplary performance on May 29th underscores the direct benefits of their extensive training, experience and unwavering self-sacrifice when serving the residents of Deptford, both day to day and during critical incidents which can arise with little or no warning.”
This investigation remains active and Detectives believe there are additional witnesses who can provide crucial information to aid and further this investigation. The Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office encourages any witnesses with information regarding Dorazo and his actions to call Sgt. John Petroski of the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office at 856-498-6238 or Detective Maureen Baney of the Deptford Township Police Department at 856-689--6946.
Information can also be e-mailed to the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.