A Toms River man has been arrested for allegedly shooting a man in the chest in the Silverton section of the township on Thursday February 8.

Michael Gato, 70, of Margaret Court, a retired Fort Lee Police Officer, is charged with Attempted Murder and Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose following his arrest, according to the Ocean County Prosecutors Office.

Toms River Police responded to 400 Kettle Creek Road (Unit 10) around 10:00 pm last Thursday evening and found Robert Oleynick, 34, of Toms River with a gunshot wound to the chest.

Oleynick was then airlifted to Jersey Shore Medical Center for medical treatment where he remains in stable condition.

Investigators say the shooting took place earlier in the evening outside of Gato's Margaret Drive residence where Oleynick was going to meet a friend.

He found Gato instead.

The two of them then began fighting each other before Gato allegedly pulled out a gun and shot Oleynick in the left side of his chest.

A video camera outside the home caught it all on tape and upon executing a search warrant police made their collar of Gato who is being held in the Ocean County Jail pending his first appearance.

Ocean County Prosecutor’s Major Crime Unit assisted Toms River Police with the investigation.

The public is reminded that criminal charges are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. 

Richard Michael Gato. (Ocean County Jail)
Richard Michael Gato. (Ocean County Jail)

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