Mayor: NJ Police Officer Killed By Gunman Lying In Wait - New York News

Mayor: NJ Police Officer Killed By Gunman Lying In Wait

Posted: Updated:

JERSEY CITY, N.J. – A New Jersey police officer was killed in the line of duty early Sunday, shot by a man who told witnesses he was going to be famous, investigators say.

Officers were called to a Jersey City Walgreens for a report of an armed robbery but instead found the suspect waiting for them outside and ready to fire, police say.

FOX's Lisa Evers reports that the flag at city hall in Jersey City is at half-staff in honor of police Officer Melvin Santiago, a rookie cop who was still in his probationary first year when his life was taken by a bragging gunman.

The 23-year-old officer never had a chance. He and his partner rushed to a 24-hour Walgreens to check out an armed robbery, but officials say it was just a trap by 27-year-old murder suspect Lawrence Campbell to shoot a police officer.

"Surveillance cameras show Campbell walked outside and speaking to a witness, at which time he apologized for his conduct in Walgreens and subsequently told the witness to watch the news later today, he's going to be famous," Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said.

The mayor says Campbell beat up an armed security guard inside the drugstore and took his gun, then went outside and waited for police.

"Campbell approached the police vehicle at close range and fired into the vehicle with the door open, striking Officer Melvin Santiago in the head," Fulop said. "He then fired three more rounds at a second marked police car, striking the windshield in an attempt to kill two more police officers."

Police responded and shot and killed Campbell. At Jersey City Medical Center, friends and family tried to console each other over the loss of a dedicated young police officer taken way too early.

Santiago's body was carried away in an ambulance along with a caravan of police cars.

The Jersey City Police Benevolent Association says Santiago "knew the risks associated with this job, yet he put himself in front of danger in order to keep Jersey City safe."

The mayor said, "I can't express how hard it is to see a body of a police officer come in to the Jersey City Medical Center and have his mother identify that body and just keep repeating the badge number and his name that it's not possible."

Police say Campbell was a suspect in a Jersey City murder along with another man, for whom they're actively looking. And they say Campbell was no stranger to trouble. Records show he was arrested at least twice for selling drugs near schools, Evers reported.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Authorities Continue To Investigate State Police Barracks Shooting

    Authorities Continue To Investigate State Police Barracks Shooting

    Sunday, September 14 2014 10:14 PM EDT2014-09-15 02:14:19 GMT

    State police say one trooper is dead and another is injured after a shooting at a state police barracks in northeastern Pennsylvania. 

    State police say one trooper is dead and another is injured after a shooting at a state police barracks in northeastern Pennsylvania. 

  • Pregnant Woman Killed In Frankford Shooting; Newborn In Critical Condition

    Pregnant Woman Killed In Frankford Shooting; Newborn In Critical Condition

    Sunday, September 14 2014 7:13 PM EDT2014-09-14 23:13:36 GMT
    A shooting in Frankford has left a pregnant woman dead and her baby in critical condition. Police say the victim was sitting outside her home and was hit by a bullet, which was fired a block and a half away.
    A shooting in Frankford has left a pregnant woman dead and her baby in critical condition. Police say the victim was sitting outside her home and was hit by a bullet, which was fired a block and a half away.
  • Fall Feel

    Sunday, September 14 2014 5:29 PM EDT2014-09-14 21:29:42 GMT

    Sunny and mild Monday with a chance of rain by Tuesday morning.

    We are looking at a pleasant but cool stretch of weather ahead.  Temperatures will be running roughly 5-7 degrees below normal giving us cool mornings (50's and 40's) and mild afternoons (low 70's) through the week. The next chance of rain is Tuesday morning.

    Monday (75/54) Sun/Clouds

    Tuesday (75/56) A.M. Showers

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Schumer proposes ban on 10 flame retardants

    Schumer proposes ban on 10 flame retardants

    Sunday, September 14 2014 9:51 PM EDT2014-09-15 01:51:05 GMT
    Gov. Andrew CuomoGov. Andrew Cuomo
    Senator Charles Schumer says a Duke University study has found flame retardants in upholstered furniture and children's products like toys, pajamas and pillows to be highly toxic. The chemicals have also been linked to developmental delays and rare cancers in firefighters as well as cancers and hormone disruption in children.
    Senator Charles Schumer says a Duke University study has found flame retardants in upholstered furniture and children's products like toys, pajamas and pillows to be highly toxic. The chemicals have also been linked to developmental delays and rare cancers in firefighters as well as cancers and hormone disruption in children.
  • Electricity goes out at Six Flags, guests left stranded

    Electricity goes out at Six Flags, guests left stranded

    Sunday, September 14 2014 6:50 PM EDT2014-09-14 22:50:36 GMT
    Six Flags Great Adventure 45th anniversary logo. (AP photo)Six Flags Great Adventure 45th anniversary logo. (AP photo)
    It wasn't the amusement park thrill they were expecting. Some people at Great Adventure in New Jersey were left stranded on rides after a power outage.
    It wasn't the amusement park thrill they were expecting. Some people at Great Adventure in New Jersey were left stranded on rides after a power outage.
  • Stranded jet skiers rescued off Staten Island

    Stranded jet skiers rescued off Staten Island

    Sunday, September 14 2014 6:43 PM EDT2014-09-14 22:43:09 GMT
    Two jet skiers stranded since Saturday night were rescued from small islands off of Staten Island Sunday morning, police sources said. The FDNY Marine division discovered the first jet skier on the West Bank Lighthouse island while patrolling the area after 8 a.m. Sunday, and took him to Staten Island University Hospital North. His friend, a man in his 40s, was also saved.
    Two jet skiers stranded since Saturday night were rescued from small islands off of Staten Island Sunday morning, police sources said. The FDNY Marine division discovered the first jet skier on the West Bank Lighthouse island while patrolling the area after 8 a.m. Sunday, and took him to Staten Island University Hospital North. His friend, a man in his 40s, was also saved.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices