NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Two Newark police officers were in stable condition Tuesday after being wounded in a confrontation with a gunman being sought in connection with another shooting, authorities said.
The afternoon shooting occurred outside an apartment building in residential neighborhood about a mile west of Newark Liberty International Airport. Frightened residents were forced to remain inside as police blocked off nearby streets to search for the gunman, who was still at large in the early evening.
One officer was shot in the leg. The other officer’s neck was grazed by a bullet that lodged in his shoulder, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said at an evening news conference.
The two officers returned fire and the gunman fled into the apartment building, Baraka said. Police believed he was hiding in an apartment and were searching door to door, while moving residents to safety.
“Prayerfully, we can end this with a person in custody this evening,” Baraka said.
Police had responded at approximately 1 p.m. after a citizen who had seen a flier about a previous shooting called in a tip about the suspect’s possible identity, according to Baraka. Police were exiting the building when they encountered the suspect in the parking lot and, during an altercation, he pulled a gun and began shooting, the mayor said.
A video taken by a bystander and posted online appeared to show someone helping an officer off the ground and soon after, others in uniform helping the limping officer into a car.
Video taken from news helicopters showed police officers in tactical gear staging on streets in the neighborhood and searching on top of and around the base of at least one multistory apartment building. Police vehicles could be seen placed to block roads in the area.
As darkness fell, Lauren Adelsky was still waiting to be allowed past the yellow tape and back to her building near where police were stationed. She had been waiting since about 4 pm, when she came back from work.
“I’m hungry, I’m tired, I just want to go home,” she said.
Elijah Moore was in his bedroom when he heard gunshots ring through his neighborhood. He immediately moved away from the window after hearing what he said were “a lot of shots,” possibly more than a dozen.
“I didn’t know what to do, if they were getting into my building,” said Moore, 33.
He turned on the television where he learned more about the shooting. His panic subsided minutes later, he said, when he saw police swarming his neighborhood.
Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement that he was monitoring “an unfolding situation in Newark,” but didn’t immediately share details.
“I am in touch with local authorities and the state is providing resources as requested. We will continue to support local law enforcement and ensure that all residents are safe,” he said.
Associated Press writer Bobby Caina Calvan contributed to this story from New York.
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