By: Richard L. Smith
Officials in Burlington County reported that a Burlington Township man has been found guilty of fatally shooting an employee and wounding a patient at a Mount Laurel medical office in the summer of 2020.
Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw said after deliberating for approximately five hours over three days, a Superior Court jury returned a guilty verdict yesterday against Bruce Gomola Jr., 54, on Aggravated Manslaughter (First Degree) and Aggravated Assault (Second Degree). Jurors declined to convict Gomola of the more severe charge of Murder (First Degree).
The Hon. Mark P. Tarantino, J.S.C., scheduled sentencing for April 14. Gomola, who was employed as a corrections officer at the Burlington County Jail when he was arrested, has been lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility in Morristown.
Prosecutor Bradshaw said the incident occurred at the New Jersey Urology office in the 1500 block of Midlantic Drive during the afternoon of July 24, 2020.
The investigation revealed that Gomola became upset about the details of an appointment there concerning his father.
According to Prosecutor Bradshaw, when Patient Services Representative Stephanie Horton attempted to discuss the situation with Gomola, he pushed her and then pulled a .40 caliber handgun and fired one shot into her chest.
The bullet exited through her back and struck a female patient in the knee.
Prosecutor Bradshaw said Gomola then left the building and drove away but soon returned to the scene and surrendered without incident to a detective from the Mount Laurel Police Department.
Horton, 44, of Willingboro, was pronounced dead a short time later at Cooper University Hospital in Camden.
The other victim, a woman in her fifties, was treated at the same facility for non-life-threatening injuries.
The shooting was investigated by the Mount Laurel Police Department and the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office.
Assistant Prosecutor Bob Van Gilst prosecuted Gomola, supervisor of the BCPO Major Crimes Unit, and Assistant Prosecutor Michael Sullivan.