Law enforcement and state authorities said that two uniformed police officers were shot Tuesday afternoon in Newark, the biggest city in New Jersey, while responding to a 911 call about a guy sought for a previous shooting there last week.
The Newark Police Department officers were shot at close range in a parking lot behind an apartment complex on a peaceful neighbourhood lined with nice residences, manicured lawns, and yellow maple trees. One cop was shot in the leg and the other in the shoulder, but neither injury was life-threatening, according to a law enforcement official.
Officials identified the suspect as Kendall Howard, 30 years old, of East Orange, New Jersey. Tuesday night, the shooter remained at-large.
A law enforcement officer said that the alleged shooter was also the guy sought in connection with the incident last week.
Several hours on Tuesday were spent by federal, state, and local law police surrounding a residential building in the region as authorities conducted door-to-door searches of its units for the shooter. However, they said during a press conference on Tuesday evening that he had not been located.
“During some point, he must have left the building,” stated Fritz G. Fragé, the city’s head of public safety, at the Tuesday evening press conference.
Mayor of Newark Ras J. Baraka advised citizens to remain inside as police officers looked for the guy.
Mr. Baraka said that the cops arrived at 25 Van Velsor Place immediately after a 911 caller reported seeing the suspect sought for last week’s incident. Officers were unable to locate the individual inside the building but encountered him on their way out.
“As they were exiting the building, he was probably entering,” the mayor said. According to him, both cops were shot at “very close range” but are in stable condition.
State Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, who represents the city in the state assembly, informed The New York Times on Tuesday morning that the cops were shot by a shooter shooting from the top of a nearby building, but the mayor said that this was not the case.
Tuesday afternoon, the police cordoned off several blocks of Chancellor Avenue, and emergency vehicles crowded the area. Multiple helicopters hovered in the sky.
Later in the afternoon, police drove a military-style crane with a protected and raised platform in front of it down a boulevard lined with elegant brick homes. Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies assisted the Newark Police Department on Tuesday, according to a law enforcement official.
Tuesday was chaotic for 34-year-old Tanisha Arrington. She heard gunshots and glanced across the street to see a cop taking refuge behind a post while limping. A second cop was prone on a patch of shrubs in an alley next to a police vehicle.
Ms. Arrington said that a guy next to her on the sidewalk called at a group of surrounding cops to go recover their fallen colleagues as another round of shooting started.
Mr. Williams said that gunshots were not uncommon in the region, but that the huge number of police officers and media on Tuesday unusual. 49-year-old construction worker Yaquis Jones agreed.
In fact, the incident coincides with rising worries about crime and unrest in New York and around the nation.
“Everyone must denounce and stop this kind of violence,” tweeted Patrick Colligan, president of the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association, a union that represents more than 33,000 law enforcement personnel.
However, official figures sometimes confuse these anxieties.
Prior to the epidemic, crime rates in New York City reached record lows, and the city remained safer than it was at many turbulent periods of its history. The number of homicides in the city is fewer than in many other big U.S. cities, but burglary, vehicle theft, rape, and felony assault have increased dramatically during the last several years.
According to data issued by the Newark Police Department at the end of October, the city’s crime rate has increased by just 2 percent from this time last year. This includes a decrease in severe crimes, such as rape, murder, and aggravated assault, but a rise in all types of robbery and theft.
While media waited for the mayor to offer information about the event on Tuesday evening, another gunshot occurred around three miles distant, prompting police radio calls. According to authorities, two adults and a 6-year-old daughter were shot. The child was diagnosed with a collapsed lung and is anticipated to live.