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Probe of shooting at Ridgewood church leads to arrest of former Marine corporal

Photo Credit: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Authorities investigating shots fired at a Ridgewood church around Christmastime have arrested a former U.S. Marine Corps corporal after seizing high-capacity magazines for a military-style rifle at his home.

Sources also told CLIFFVIEW PILOT that assault rifles have also been seized that are tied to dozens of shots fired into the side of the Old Paramus Reformed Church building — several of which went through a stained glass window — nearly two weeks ago.

Alex Norrell, 23, was taken into custody yesterday and charged with possession of the magazines, as well as marijuana and drug paraphernalia, following the search at his village home. He was being held on $30,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail.

Authorities refused to say whether Norrell — whose online bio says he served with the Marine from 2010 through last September — was connected to the shooting.

However, law enforcement sources told CLIFFVIEW PILOT that a continuing investigation has turned up at least two assault rifles, .223-caliber ammunition matching the kind used at the church and a second suspect.

The shots apparently were fired overnight Christmas evening into the morning of Dec. 26 into the more than 200-year-old building. A church worker discovered the damage the next morning.

Several agencies have joined village police in the investigation — among them, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, the Bergen County Sheriff’s Bureau of Criminal Identification and the Bergen County Regional SWAT Team.


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