Man says he unknowingly lived in same Hackensack house as suspect wanted for double murder

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HACKENSACK, N.J. — A Hackensack police officer shot 26-year-old man inside a Clay Street home last night after he spent about a week at-large.

Jose Ronald Santos-Alvarez was wanted for the murder of his young son and ex-girlfriend. Christopher, 4, and Monika Potoczniak, 27, were found suffocated and strangled in their Jersey City Heights home on Oct. 7.

Eyewitnesses said police arrived on Clay Street in unmarked cars last night and stormed the home, breaking down a door to confront Santos-Alvarez.

“The suspect presented himself with a knife. There were a lot of police officers in a very small kitchen area. One shot was fired to the abdomen area,” said Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli, who added that Santos-Alvarez is expected to survive.

Jose Lucero lived in the home and spoke to PIX11, he said he rented out a room but was unaware that Santos-Alvarez was under the same roof.

“I don’t know him,” said Lucero, who said that he was not home at the time, but his wife was arrested and now faces deportation.

Neighbors who heard the gunfire were relieved on Friday.

“I think the police did their job,” said Corraine Dzelebdzic, “I wouldn’t like my neighbor to be someone who killed someone. This is our community. We have to make sure it’s safe.”

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