NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police in Newark shot and wounded a carjacking suspect after a chase late Thursday afternoon.
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, the Essex County Prosecutor’s office was reviewing surveillance video and other evidence late Thursday, as the office works to determine if the Newark officer was justified in stopping the alleged carjacker with gunfire.
“I heard a screech and a crash – and one gunshot,” said witness Quentin Burris. “It was all really lightning fast.”
Burris was working near the scene as the chaos erupted.
A white BMW convertible, allegedly carjacked earlier in the day, was being pursued by Newark police. It smacked into a van near South 11th Street and Avon Avenue around 4 p.m., police said.
A Newark officer ran up on foot, weapon drawn. It was hard to tell from video obtained exclusively by CBS2 if that officer was the one who fired, but suddenly, the BMW shot off onto the sidewalk and hit a parked vehicle.
The driver slumped over as a cloud of smoke enveloped the scene.
The smartphone video from a witness showed the lingering smoke as officers rushed in — many in the crowd angrily calling on police to aid the driver.
In a statement, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert Laurino said: “The suspect attempted to still elude the officers and in the course of attempting to arrest the suspect, one officer discharged his weapon striking the suspect.”
Kyun Morris saw first responders and the man after the shooting.
“He was laying flat on the ground at first,” Morris said. “They rolled him over; put the respirator on so he could breathe.”
There was some anger as people questioned whether deadly force was necessary. Others said carjacking is a persistent danger in some Newark neighborhoods.
“You out here stealing stuff? I mean, I don’t say he should have gotten shot, but if you do something wrong, the police are going to be there to make sure, you know, that you get, you know, apprehended,” said Tara Cooper. “They’re doing their own job. You can’t get mad at the police — they have a job to do.”
The suspect survived the shooting and was taken to University Hospital.