Fatal Irvington shooting may have link to seized cash

Posted: Updated:

Investigators believe Wednesday?s fatal shooting in Irvington may have links to the largest cash seizure in Passaic County history.

Willie DeWight Cousar was gunned down in his store at the intersection of Augustus and Main streets. Cousar was shot inside the store and died in the street across from a preschool. As a result of the shooting, the school was placed on lockdown.

Now, homicide investigators are looking into a possible connection between Cousar and a cash seizure in 2006. Last year, police seized almost $670,000 in cash when they responded to a house alarm on Avenue B in Haledon. Authorities say the money was found in bags all over the family room, along with counting machines. Money was also found inside a car in the garage.

In that incident, Cousar was charged with financial facilitation of criminal activity in connection with the cash seizure. He was sentenced to five years probation.

Investigators believe the rental home was used as a safe house, or a place to stash ill-gotten gains.

Several months later, the Haledon police chief says he paid Cousar a probationary visit and learned someone tried to kill him. The chief believes the attempt on Cousar?s life was payback for losing the money. The chief says he wouldn?t be surprised of Cousar?s fatal shooting was linked to the cash.

The Essex County Prosecutor?s Office says it is looking into all possible motives and not just the cash seizure.

Related Information:Storeowner fatally shot near Irvington preschool

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