The Associated Press
IRVINGTON, N.J. — Authorities were trying to determine yesterday whether a man accused of shooting a police sergeant in his patrol car also was responsible for two other overnight shootings that left a pedestrian dead and another driver wounded.
The arrest of Shaquan Johnson, 27, of Newark, came after police stopped a light-colored sport utility vehicle he was driving at about 9:30 a.m. The vehicle was similar to the one witnesses saw leaving the scene of the officer's shooting in Irvington and had the same partial plate they described, said Paul Loriquet, a spokesman for the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.
Johnson initially was arrested on drug possession charges, but after further investigation he was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer. He was being held last night in the county jail on $500,000 bail.
However, Loriquet said it was not yet known if Johnson was involved in the fatal shooting of Gary Farrar Jr., 22, a Rutgers student killed as he walked along 18th Avenue in Irvington, or the wounding of a driver stopped at a traffic light.
The three shootings took place within minutes in the same general area of the township about 3 a.m. yesterday Loriquet said.
A gunman first drove up to a vehicle stopped at a traffic light and spoke with the driver, a 23-year-old man from Bridgeport, Conn., before shooting him several times. The gunman continued driving and shot Farrar a short time later.
The gunman then passed the Irvington police patrol car, backed up and told the sergeant inside, a 24-year police veteran, that a shooting had just taken place, police said. He then drew his gun and shot the sergeant, who was struck in the hip.
A motive for the shootings has not been determined.
The Connecticut man drove himself to a hospital in Newark, and an ambulance took the sergeant to a hospital. The sergeant was treated and released; the Connecticut man was expected to fully recover.
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On Friday night, Five people were shot and three others stabbed in four incidents in Irvington.