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 NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • New York's microbrew industry growing

    New York's microbrew industry growing

    Monday, July 28 2014 8:39 PM EDT2014-07-29 00:39:52 GMT
    Local and small beer brewing companies have something to toast. The Brewers Association says microbrew sales grew in the first half of this year; up 18 percent over the same period last year. This comes at a time when overall domestic beer consumption is flat.Ethan Long, one of the owners of the Rockaway Brewing Company in Long Island City, started brewing beer two years ago.
    Local and small beer brewing companies have something to toast. The Brewers Association says microbrew sales grew in the first half of this year; up 18 percent over the same period last year. This comes at a time when overall domestic beer consumption is flat.Ethan Long, one of the owners of the Rockaway Brewing Company in Long Island City, started brewing beer two years ago.
  • 2 U.S. marshals, 1 NYPD detective wounded; fugitive killed in Manhattan

    2 U.S. marshals, 1 NYPD detective wounded; fugitive killed in Manhattan

    Monday, July 28 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-07-28 22:58:41 GMT

    Two deputy U.S. marshals and an NYPD detective were seriously wounded in a shootout with a fugitive sexual assault suspect in the West Village in Manhattan, officials said. The shootout happened in smoke shop called Smoking Culture on West 4th Street near Jones Street.


    Two deputy U.S. marshals and an NYPD detective were seriously wounded in a shootout with a fugitive sexual assault suspect in the West Village in Manhattan, officials said. The shootout happened in smoke shop called Smoking Culture on West 4th Street near Jones Street.


  • Mayor de Blasio, Bratton seek to improve police-community relations

    Mayor de Blasio, Bratton seek to improve police-community relations

    Monday, July 28 2014 6:47 PM EDT2014-07-28 22:47:07 GMT
    Back from vacation, Mayor Bill de Blasio is addressing the allegations of police choke holds. Standing next to his police commissioner and standing by him, de Blasio declared police community relations will improve by Bill Bratton's call for retraining of officers. The mayor did say that police choke holds are not acceptable.
    Back from vacation, Mayor Bill de Blasio is addressing the allegations of police choke holds. Standing next to his police commissioner and standing by him, de Blasio declared police community relations will improve by Bill Bratton's call for retraining of officers. The mayor did say that police choke holds are not acceptable.
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 | Terms of Service | Ad Choices