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Paterson Man Arrested in Connection with Shooting Investigation


Passaic County officials announce that based upon an investigation by the Paterson Police Department, in conjunction with the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, Lemel Cooks, 34-years-old, from Paterson, was arrested in relation to a shooting investigation that took place on June 14, 2021, in the area of 20th Avenue and Chestnut Street in Paterson. 

According to county officials, Mr. Cooks is charged with: 

  • Two counts of Attempted Murder, First Degree
  • Two counts of Aggravated Assault, Second Degree
  • Four counts of Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Second Degree
  • Unlawful Possession of a Handgun, Second Degree
  • Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons, Second Degree
  • Eluding, Third Degree
  • Criminal Mischief, Fourth Degree

Officials said that on June 14, at approximately 9:50 p.m. members of the Paterson Police Department were patrolling the area of 20th Avenue and Chestnut Street in Paterson when they heard gunshots being fired from a nearby location. 

According to officials, they immediately responded to the location of the gunshots and located evidence of a crime scene and a 59-year-old male Paterson resident who sustained a non-fatal gunshot wound. 

The victim was transported to Saint Joseph’s University Medical Center for treatment.

Based on the investigation it was determined that Mr. Cooks had fired several gunshots in the direction of the 59-year-old male Paterson resident and a 43-year-old male Paterson resident. The 43-year-old male was not struck by gunfire. 

The investigation also revealed that after the initial shooting, Lemel Cooks approached a nearby vehicle occupied by a 32-year-old female Paterson resident and a 23-year-old female Ridgewood resident, and fired shots at the vehicle, neither occupant was hit.

Members of the Paterson Police Department determined that a green Honda minivan was involved in the shooting. Officers quickly located the green Honda minivan and attempted to initiate a motor vehicle stop. 

After a brief motor vehicle pursuit, the driver of the minivan, Lemel Cooks, pulled over in the area of Straight and Morton streets where he was arrested.

The State has filed a motion for pretrial detention that will be heard by a Superior Court Judge.

The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office asks anyone with additional information about this incident to contact them on their tips line at 1-877-370-PCPO or or contact the Paterson Police Department at 973-321-1120.