LEONIA, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A kidnapping investigation turned deadly Wednesday in Bergen County, New Jersey.
As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, it was a terrifying morning in the relatively quiet neighborhood of Leonia.READ MORE: Amazon Web Services Outage Spells Trouble For MTA App Users, Among Others
In the early morning darkness came frightening blasts of gunfire.
“I just heard a loud boom. Like, boom! And it woke me up out of my sleep. I dropped to the floor,” said Leonia resident Joann Ward.
“I hear the shooting sound and it was horrible. And it woke us up. And I didn’t know what was happening,” a witness named Mimi said. “I saw an FBI guy was shooting and they were lying on the ground.”
The shooting happened just before 4 a.m. Wednesday. The FBI swarmed the Lakeview apartment complex, cornering an alleged kidnapper holding a victim hostage inside an apartment on Lakeview Avenue. Agents demanded the suspect surrender.
Shahira Asadi recorded cell phone video as officers opened fire.
“It felt like a bomb. It really was,” she said.READ MORE: Police: Burglar Steals From Brooklyn Synagogue 3 Times
“How did you feel about your own safety?” Sanchez asked.
“I was so scared,” Asadi said.
“The FBI was just quickly to ‘Please come out. This is the FBI, we see you standing at the window.’ That’s all we kept hearing. Then there was some more bang bang bang… like, literally – bang bang bang,” said witness Kathleen Gentile.
The FBI had been trailing the suspect after a kidnapping out of the Philadelphia area. The shootout in Leonia ended with the suspect dead. Agents rescued the victim safely.
The FBI says the victim is the 17-year-old son of an apparent drug dealer.
Wednesday afternoon, as a rental van was hauled away and agents continued collecting evidence at the crime scene, people living nearby were left shaken.
“In my neighborhood, that’s devastating. I thought this was a safe area. That’s why we moved here,” said neighbor Ahmed Abdel.MORE NEWS: NYC Hospitality Alliance: Mayor De Blasio 'Grinch' For Vaccine Mandate That May Keep Tourists With Young Children Away
“It was just a nightmare. It’s really scary because Leonia is such a peaceful quiet neighborhood. And I never thought that something like this can happen,” Asadi said.