07/31/2006

N.J. police: Man shot while in custody drew gun

The Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J.- A man struggling with several city police officers who were trying to arrest him was fatally shot Sunday after he pulled a gun from his waistband, authorities said.

Chakhan Nance, 26, of Newark was shot once in the side and taken to University Hospital, where he later died, acting Chief Anthony Campos said. The shooting occurred around 1:40 p.m. in the area of West Alpine Street and Irvine Turner Boulevard.

Five members of the department's Narcotics Enforcement Team -- three officers and two supervisors who were in plainclothes and wearing their badges outside their shirts -- were in the area to investigate residents' complaints about drug dealing when they saw Nance and another man involved in an apparent drug deal, Campos said.

The officers approached the men and identified themselves as police officers. The second man then ran off as the officers tackled Nance and took him to the ground. As they tried to handcuff him, Nance -- who Campos said had an extensive criminal record -- pulled out his gun.

Jose Dopazo, 30, a five-year veteran of the police force, saw the gun and fired one round from his department-issued handgun, Campos said. Dopazo also was taken to University Hospital, where he was treated for trauma and minor injuries sustained during the scuffle.

Nance's gun was recovered at the scene, Campos said, and authorities were still seeking the second suspect, whose identity was not immediately known.

The shooting will be reviewed by the department's office of internal affairs and the Essex County Prosecutors Office, the normal procedure for all police-involved shootings.

Dopazo will remain on active duty, although Campos said the officer has the option of requesting an administrative leave until the matter is resolved.

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