Bodies of Michael and Patricia Zaccario discovered in nursing home shooting at CareOne at Wellington, Bergen County

Shrouded in silence, the tranquil New Jersey facility witnesses an unexpected grim event, unearthing a tale of tragic loss and despair.

In the early hours of Saturday, July 15, an eerie silence shrouded the otherwise bustling CareOne at Wellington on Union Street. Investigators reported that nobody seemed to have heard the shots that abruptly ended two lives within the facility. Nestled within the heart of New Jersey, this nursing home became the tragic backdrop for a case of homicide-suicide.

The grim discovery was made when 76-year-old Michael Zaccario and 73-year-old Patricia Zaccario, both of Wood-Ridge, were found lifeless in a room. Patricia, who was struggling with a terminal illness, was a resident at the facility. Their relationship remains a mystery. The cruel nature of their demise was revealed after someone, driven by concern, decided to check on the room occupied by the terminally ill woman.

The local police department was alerted to the heartbreaking situation via a 911 call at 8:51 a.m. Bergen County Prosecutor, Mark Musella, detailed the grim findings. On arrival, officers were greeted with the tragic sight of the couple, both victims of gunshot wounds. Their lives were abruptly cut short, marking a dark chapter in the history of the CareOne facility.

Further probing the chilling incident are the prosecutor’s Major Crimes Unit and Hackensack police, who have plunged into a sea of unanswered questions. Their diligent search for answers is bolstered by the county sheriff’s Bureau of Criminal Identification, tasked with piecing together the puzzle from the gathered evidence. The county Medical Examiner’s Office undertook the somber duty of collecting the bodies.

CareOne at Wellington, a beacon of hope for over three decades, suddenly finds itself shrouded in grief. The facility’s mission, as stated on its website, has always been to provide sub-acute rehabilitation, specialized clinical care, and long-term assistance to its residents. Its hallmarks include “superior clinical programs specializing in wound care, stroke recovery, and dementia care.” Now, the tragedy has cast a long shadow over the wellness sanctuary.

Anna Robinson, the Vice President of the Bliss Group, a PR firm, issued a heartrending statement on behalf of the facility, “We are deeply saddened by the tragedy that took place at our Wellington building today. Our hearts go out to the victim’s family and loved ones.”

In these trying times, CareOne stands united, pledging full support to its staff and residents affected by this incident. Robinson continued, “We will be providing our staff and residents with the support they need in this difficult time. CareOne is fully cooperating with the local police department and intends to respect the proceedings of the investigation and the privacy of those affected. No further comments will be shared by CareOne at this time.”

For anyone who finds themselves grappling with the aftermath of this tragic event, help is available. Reach out to 1.888.NYCWELL (1.888.692.9355) or text “WELL” to 65173. More information can be found at Let this tragic incident be a reminder to extend compassion and support to those affected as the echoes of the gunshots linger in the halls of CareOne at Wellington.