MANVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — An off-duty police officer shot an intruder inside his home during an apparent home invasion in New Jersey early Monday morning, according to the Somerset County prosecutor’s office.
Gunfire erupted from inside the home at 263 North Fifth Ave. near Knopf Street just after midnight Monday, CBS2’s Scott Rapoport reported.
The off-duty officer shot the suspected burglar in the chest, prosecutors said.
Authorities say the off-duty cop and responding officers began life-saving medical treatment on the suspect, identified as 19-year-old Tyreek Cook. He was then taken to a trauma center for emergency treatment and is in critical condition.
Neighbor Maria Jones said she heard it all.
“Very loud. ‘Boom, boom.’ Twice,” she said.
The officer also was taken to a hospital for treatment for injuries he sustained in the fight with Cook.
The home remained cordoned off with crime scene tape Monday afternoon. A bullet hole was plainly visible in the window by the front door.
Many neighbors were alarmed after the incident.
“I just heard a gunshot. I just heard like ‘boom!'” neighbor Ida Fortis said. “It was shocking honestly, because this was kind of like the first time that it happened so close to me and my family.”
“It’s a little scary,” added neighbor Michael Herrera. “So you’ve got to wonder how you are going to protect your wife and kids.”
“Being an off-duty cop, what else is he going to do?” another neighbor said. “If I had a gun in my house, I’d do the same thing.”
Cook is charged with third-degree burglary and was listed in critical condition under police guard at the trauma center.
Police believe he may be responsible for a series of home and car burglaries in the area. The investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Somerset County prosecutors office Major Crimes Unit at 908-231-7100, the Manville Police Department at 908-725-1900 or the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 888-577-TIPS (8477), or visit www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE.”