Trenton, NJ – New Jersey State Police (NJSP) Recruit Lucas Homeijer died on Dec. 1, six days after he lost consciousness after sustaining an injury in training at the NJSP academy.
The 27-year-old recruit was a member of the 161st State Police Academy class, according to the Parsippany Patch.
He was participating in an active countermeasures boxing match with a fellow recruit at the Sea Girt Borough facility on Nov. 25 when he was injured and lost consciousness, according to academy staff.
The instructors immediately stopped the exercise and rendered first aid to Recruit Homeijer, who was subsequently rushed to a local hospital by emergency medical personnel.
He remained hospitalized in critical condition until his death on Tuesday, according to the Parsippany Patch.
NJSP Colonel Patrick Callahan said Recruit Homeijer’s father and uncle are both retired NJSP troopers, the Asbury Park Press reported.
“He grew up in a State Police family,” Col. Callahan said during a press conference on Wednesday.
The colonel said the young recruit’s death has been “one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through personally as a trooper, and as a dad, too,” the Asbury Park Press reported.
Recruit Homeijer’s death has also been difficult for the academy instructors, Col. Callahan said.
“[They] treat every one of those recruits like their own kids,” the colonel explained.
Recruit Homeijer, an Eagle Scout who had attended the NJSP Trooper Youth Week at the age of 17, “had a life of service, even though it was short,” Col. Callahan said, according to the Asbury Park Press. “I have no doubt that Luke Homeijer would have made a phenomenal Jersey State Trooper.”
His death was “an anomaly to say the least – a tragedy, for sure,” Col. Callahan said.
The circumstances of Recruit Homeijer’s death remain under investigation, according to the Asbury Park Press.
“Deeply saddened by the tragic passing of New Jersey State Police Recruit Lucas Homeijer, who was just 27 years old and a member of the 161st State Police Academy Class,” New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said in a Facebook post on Wednesday. “Our condolences are with Recruit Homeijer’s family and friends, and his Academy classmates.”
"I have no doubt Luke Homeijer would have made a phenomenal trooper," @NJSP Col. Pat Callahan says of State Police recruit who died after being injured at academy.
Callahan says Homeijer's father and uncle are retired troopers.
— Alex Zdan (@ActualAlexZ) December 2, 2020
We stand with @NJSP as they mourn the loss of Recruit Lucas Homeijer. Homeijer lost consciousness during a training exercise on Nov. 25 and succumbed to his injuries on Dec. 1. We extend our deepest sympathy to his family, friends, and fellow recruits. https://t.co/ff43bEB3jV
— Camden Co Prosecutor (@CamdenCoPros) December 2, 2020
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of New Jersey State Police Recruit Lucas Homeijer, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.