NJ cop shoots man after attacked with fence post
The suspect hit one officer in the head with the sharpened post and grabbed for his rifle
JERSEY CITY, N.J. — A Jersey City police officer shot a man who authorities say attacked the officer and his partner with a sharpened fence post early Tuesday.
The attack and shooting came just days after a rookie police officer was gunned down in an ambush, leaving police and residents on edge.
According to a preliminary investigation, two emergency services officers saw the 25-year-old man at approximately 2:30 a.m. and ordered him to drop the post, the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office said in a statement.
Authorities said the man threw the post through the vehicle's passenger-side window, hitting an officer in the head. The man then reached through the window and grabbed the officer's rifle, authorities said. The two struggled for the rifle, which discharged through the vehicle's door and struck the man, officials said.
The officers exited the vehicle and ordered the man to the ground. One officer opened fire after authorities said the man refused to show his hands and hid a hand in his waistband.
The man was taken to a hospital and was expected to undergo surgery for non-life-threatening injuries, the prosecutor's office said. The man's name has not been released.
The police officers were also being treated.
On Sunday, Officer Melvin Santiago was ambushed as he responded to an armed robbery call at an all-night drug store, authorities said. Other officers returned fire, killing Lawrence Campbell.
A memorial to Campbell in his neighborhood had been removed by Tuesday morning. Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said that he ordered the makeshift collection of balloons, candles, empty liquor bottles and messages of love from friends scrawled on T-shirts taped to a brick wall removed Monday night.
"I had it taken down last night. I am not going to let a few residents pretend like they express the views of a great city like Jersey City," Fulop said in a statement.
Fulop and other city officials had lashed out that some residents created a makeshift memorial and were grieving for the suspect instead of the officer.
"Rest easy," ''Thug in peace" and "See u on the other side" were among the things friends wrote to Campbell.
Barbara Jones, Campbell's neighbor, told The Jersey Journal that the Campbell she knew was nothing like the man city officials say was lying in wait for officers to arrive before opening fire.
"He was a good man. He looked out for everybody on the block," Jones told the newspaper.
Angelique Campbell, Campbell's widow, told News 12 New Jersey on Sunday that she was sorry for Santiago's family but that her husband should have killed more officers if they were planning to kill him. She later apologized for the comments.
Fulop called Angelique Campbell's comments "ignorant" and "disgusting." Police Director James Shea said they weren't representative of the city or even of Campbell's neighborhood in southwest Jersey City, where the majority of shootings in the city take place and where distrust of police is as much a staple as boarded-up houses and groups of young men hanging out on street corners at midday.
A temporary memorial to the slain officer — significantly smaller than the one for Campbell — was set up outside the Walgreens where he was killed, drawing mourners as the store reopened Monday.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press