FAIRFIELD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Numerous charges have been filed against a pickup truck driver who was shot by police after he allegedly rammed a police car and tried to flee during a traffic stop in northern New Jersey.
Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray says 46-year-old Jeffery Harris of Lafayette suffered a graze wound to his forehead during Saturday night’s confrontation in Fairfield. He remained hospitalized Sunday in stable condition and was under police guard.
Authorities said another driver called police to report Harris was driving erratically and appeared to be drunk. The other driver soon approached the truck at an intersection and tried to take the keys out.
When Fairfield police arrived, authorities say Harris rammed a marked police car, backed up and then drove westbound over a median into the eastbound lane and toward the officers. Murray said one Fairfield officer, identified only as a 10-year-veteran of the force, fired four shots after Harris rammed the police vehicle and drove off. One shot hit Harris, while another hit a “fixed object” at a nearby gas station.
“I saw the cop cars and the cops out their pointing the gun pointed at the guy that was in the truck,” witness Tim Taylor told CBS 2′s Hazel Sanchez.
The suspect was taken to St. Joseph Hospital in Paterson. He was listed in critical but stable condition, a blood sample was taken by the prosecutor’s office.
Witnesses gave consistent accounts of the incident, officials said.
No other injuries were reported.
The involved officers have been placed on administrative duty while authorities review the shooting, which is standard procedure in all police-involved shootings.
Harris was charged with several counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, along with weapons offenses and eluding. Bail was set at $100,000, and it was not known Sunday if he had retained an attorney.
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