NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Newark police officer Jovanny Crespo is sitting in jail Tuesday night, accused of aggravated manslaughter and assault for shooting two suspects during an incident caught on police body cams.
Prosecutors say his actions, which left one man dead, were criminal.
The gunshots and tense moments captured on video have now led to the arrest of Crespo; indicted by a grand jury Tuesday.
“It is the state’s position that this officer’s conduct that night was criminal, he showed a reckless disregard for human life by shooting into a moving vehicle,” Theodore Stephens, the acting Essex County prosecutor said.
It was on Jan. 28, when another officer radioed for help with a vehicle that fled during a traffic stop.
Gregory Griffin was the driver and his passenger, Andrew Dixon, had a gun according to prosecutors.
“That led to a pursuit involving a number of Newark police cars. The police vehicle in which Crespo was the passenger was the closest to the fleeing car.
Prosecutors say the police body and dash cam videos tell the rest of the story. They say Crespo can be seen firing his gun at the suspect’s car at three different locations.
At first, he shoots three times. The second time, Officer Crespo appeared to shoot directly at the driver’s side window.
“I seen the gun… he pointed the gun at me. Bro, he pointed the gun right at me,” the officer is heard saying.
The final time, the chase comes to an end as dash cam video shows Crespo run to the passenger side door firing more shots.
Inside the car, Griffin appears to be motionless behind the wheel. He later died at a local hospital.
His passenger, survived. Crespo can be heard telling other officers what happened.
“Yo, I shot both of them… He pointed his gun at me… He started pointing the gun at me.”
At one point an officer appears to gesture at him to stay quiet. Prosecutors say their investigation is ongoing, but Crespo faces life in prison if convicted on six counts including aggravated manslaughter.
“The state alleges and it’s our position that the officer’s conduct was not consistent with the training that he received,” Stephens said.
CBS2 stopped by the officer’s home Tuesday, but a family member said they had no comment.
Crespo remains suspended from the department and will remain in custody until a detention hearing later this week.