The Associated Press
ORANGE, N.J.- Authorities on Tuesday were searching for a gunman who killed a 32-year-old police officer as he tried to arrest a suspect.
Detective Kiera T. Shields was investigating reports of gunfire and was killed at about 11:30 p.m. Monday, said Paul Loriquet, a spokesman for the Essex County prosecutor's office.
Officers later entered a house that they had surrounded and found the suspect was not there. It was not clear whether the gunman was ever in the home, Loriquet said.
"We do have promising leads," Loriquet said.
Shields was pronounced dead shortly before midnight Monday at University Hospital in Newark.
The fallen detective was a five-year veteran of the Orange force and a married father of three. He was promoted to detective on Jan. 1, 2005, according to acting Orange police director Aric Webster.
Shields distinguished himself in December 2004 when he found a 5-year-old girl who had been left in an SUV during a carjacking.
"She was a little shaken, but she (appeared) unharmed," Shields told The Star-Ledger at the time. "She seemed relieved and then started to cry."
Shields was the first Orange officer killed in the line of duty since 1999.
"He was a great asset to this city, a great member of this department, and he paid the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of the citizens of this town," Webster said.
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Orange Mayor Mims Hackett Jr. described Shields' death as "devastating to the community."