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Supervisor Wounded by Gunfire in Post Office Attack

August 16, 1996

PATERSON, N.J. (AP) _ A U.S. Postal Service employee shot his supervisor in the hand Thursday before he was subdued by his victim and another man, authorities said.

Daniel Isku, 38, got into an argument with supervisor John Fitzgerald in the vehicle maintenance area of Paterson’s main post office and fired a .22-caliber handgun, said Postal Inspector Tony Esposito.

In an unrelated incident Wednesday, postal worker Rodger Johnson, 44, was arrested on weapons charges after state agents raided his apartment in the town of New Egypt and confiscated 85 weapons, including 18 assault guns.

Isku, who had worked in the post office garage area since 1987, was jailed and will be charged with assaulting a postal employee, Esposito said.

Three shots were fired, but just one hit Fitzgerald, 34. Labor relations representative Richard Anastasi also injured his right hand in the struggle to subdue the gunman. Both were treated at a nearby hospital and released.

A motive has not been determined: ``That’s something that will come under the microscope,″ Esposito said.

Johnson was arrested at his home after a four-month investigation. But first, police had to disarm several booby traps, including one made of two pepper spray devices in jars and another using a trip wire hooked up to a shotgun, said Sgt. Frank Mazziotta.

Police also charged Johnson with falsifying firearms applications because he did not include that he was undergoing psychiatric care.

Johnson, who was released on bond, said he was called by his supervisor Thursday and told not to come to work. He said he does not know if he has been suspended. Johnson said he has worked as a mail sorter at the Hamilton Township facility for 10 years.

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