WEST ORANGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A suspect was arrested not long after he allegedly shot an off-duty police officer on Monday afternoon.

The West Orange store where the violence erupted was supposed to stay open until 10 p.m., but workers closed the place down early, CBS2’s Cory James reported.

Carlos Rivera showed James where the shooting took place inside Krauszer’s Food Store on Valley Road.

Authorities said that officer, who just happened to be inside the convenience store at around 3 p.m., stepped in to stop a robbery.

Rivera was working in the cooler when the fight broke out.

When asked how long the altercation lasted, Rivera said, “Probably like two, three minutes.”

But it ended after investigators say the suspect opened fire. He then took off before stopping at a gas station on South Orange and Bergen streets in Newark. Exclusive video shows police approaching the alleged shooter’s SUV as witnesses watched nearby.

“Let me see your hands! Get out of the car now!” an officer yelled.

“It was fast. It came real fast. All we know is as soon as I backed up and parked, it was cops everywhere,” witness Shimika Finney said.

“He had his hands up, yeah,” added witness Lonnie Simmons.

James reached out to the the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office to learn more, but was only told that a “male was in custody.”

The shooting had nearby workers, who closed down for hours, shocked.

“Usually don’t have activity like that over here,” one said.

“It’s a pretty safe place overall. We’ve been open 25 years and nothing like this has happened before,” another said.

The off-duty officer was taken to University Hospital in Newark, which is about five miles away. James was told he has non-life threatening injuries and is expected to be okay.

Additional information about him and the suspect was not immediately released.

CBS2’s Thalia Perez contributed to this report. This story originally appeared on Dec. 27, 2021. 

Cory James