Indictment returned against Elizabeth man charged with attempted murder of police officers

A Union County grand jury has returned a 30-count indictment against the Elizabeth resident and federal terror suspect charged with trying to kill police officers in Linden approximately two months ago, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Wednesday. 

Ahmad Khan Rahami, a.k.a. Ahmad Khan Rahimi, 28, is charged with five counts of first-degree attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, multiple counts of second-, third-, and fourth-degree aggravated assault, two second-degree weapons offenses, and fourth-degree possession of a high-capacity magazine.

At approximately 10:30 a.m. on Monday, September 19, the owner of a bar on East Elizabeth Avenue in Linden called police to report that an unknown man later identified as Rahami was sleeping in the vestibule directly outside the bar’s front door.

The first responding officer, a uniformed Linden police patrolman, arrived at the scene moments later and began questioning Rahami. At that time Rahami produced a handgun and shot the officer in the torso, striking him in his protective vest. Additional patrol officers responding to the scene engaged Rahami in an exchange of gunfire that ended when he was shot multiple times outside of an auto repair shop on East Elizabeth Avenue, several blocks west of where he was initially approached.

A handgun was recovered from Rahami at the scene, after which he was immediately transported to a local hospital for treatment. Neither the police officer who was struck by gunfire nor a second officer who was struck in the head by a fragment of a bullet suffered life-threatening injuries.

Bail for Rahami was set at $5.2 million by state Superior Court Judge Regina Caulfield. A first appearance in the case was held via video conference last month, while Rahami appeared in federal court for the first time last week.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey both have filed federal criminal charges against Rahami for allegedly conducting and attempting to conduct bombings in New York City and various locations in New Jersey on the two days immediately prior to his arrest.

Convictions on first-degree criminal charges filed in Superior Court are commonly individually punishable by 10 to 20 years in state prison, while second-degree charges typically result in terms of 5 to 10 years.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.