Officials: Man killed in hotel shootout with police was wanted for 2022 Brooklyn robbery
Authorities have identified the man who was killed during a police shootout at a hotel along Route 1 in the Monmouth Junction section of South Brunswick on Wednesday.
They say United States Marshals officers were trying to arrest Shamar Leggette, who was wanted for a robbery in Brooklyn. Leggette was tracked to the MHO Inn and Suites. When they found him, authorities say Leggette came out shooting and was eventually fatally shot.
Officials say Leggette was on the run from the law for a year and a half when U.S. Marshals and ATF agents caught up with him around 2 p.m. on Wednesday.
The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General has confirmed that when officers went to make the arrest, Leggette fired on officers, who shot back. Leggette would be found dead with two weapons nearby, officials say.
NYPD officials say Leggette was one of three men wanted for robbing Bishop Lamor Whitehead, who spoke out via social media about the shooting that killed Leggette.
Whitehead is the head of Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries.
“You know it’s so senseless, I wish that he would have given himself up,” the bishop said.
Police say in July 2022, Leggett and two other men in masks walked into the church in Canarsie, Brooklyn while the bishop was livestreaming a service. With guns in hand, they robbed the bishop and his wife of their jewelry, estimated to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The entire holdup was recorded as it was being streamed.
“He came and put the gun to my head and ripped my clergy off and ripped my chains off,” Whitehead recalled. “This was the guy that put the gun in my wife’s face and put the gun in my 8-month-old daughter’s face.”
Whitehead himself is under federal indictment and set to face trial next month for charges that include wire fraud and attempted extortion from churchgoers.
The indictment from the U.S. Attorney says, “[Whitehead] elicited approximately $90,000 from an individual who attended his church.”
The indictment says he used the cash for clothing and luxury items. Authorities say he also got $500,000 from another victim.
Whitehead says he’s being wrongly accused.
As for Legette, he had been on parole for robbery, attempted murder and weapons possession at the time of the church robbery. The two other men involved in that heist were arrested soon after the crime.