Investigators searched a Newark apartment building where they believed the suspect in the shooting of two Newark police officers was hiding, only to find the man nowhere to be found.
Police identified the wanted man as 30-year-old Kendall Howard of East Orange.
Police say they opened fire on the officers at Van Velsor Place and Chancellor Avenue in Newark around 2 p.m. They were trying to capture the suspect in a separate shootout, CBS2’s Kevin Rincon reported.
The injured officers are recuperating at the University Hospital.
Police were called to an apartment building after a resident identified a man connected to last week’s shooting. Officers searched through the building and did not find the suspect, so they began to leave. That’s when they found him in the parking lot and got into a shootout.
Police from far and wide, including the FBI and ATF, locked residents in their homes.
“It was terrible. At first, I thought it was fireworks, but because there were so many, then I realized what it was,” said witness Rosalind Reeve.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said a resident called police after recognizing the shooting suspect from a wanted flyer. Minutes later, officers were swarming the apartment complex. That’s when they found the suspect in the parking lot as they were leaving.
“The gentleman pulled out a gun and shot two police officers at close range. The gun returned, the gunfire returned. The gentleman retreated into the building,” Barka said.
That’s what sparked the widespread response. Officers on the ground, even on the roof, kept an eye out for the gunman.
The policemen were rushed to the hospital.
“One was shot in the face and shot in the shoulder. He’s in the hospital, he’s in surgery. He’s in stable condition, they’re keeping him overnight. The other officer was shot in the leg,” Newark Public Safety Director Fritz Frage said.
The suspect ran back inside, but after a nearly eight-hour search, police came up empty-handed.
“The perpetrator is not in the building. There is currently an active warrant for the perpetrator,” Frage said.
“This is still an active investigation. We are asking for the public’s cooperation and involvement in identifying and locating Mr. Howard. But thanks to our federal partners and our state, county and local partners, I am confident that all the necessary resources are in place. It is being deployed,” said State Attorney General Matthew Platkin. .
Meanwhile, many are frustrated as they watch their neighborhood turn into a crime scene.
“After that, how do you expect people and their children to be safe around here? And he’s still on the loose?” someone asked. “If everyone can’t do it, someone else can.”
“I’ve been standing here since 3:15 p.m. I’m angry and it’s sad that things like this happen in this neighborhood,” said building resident Victoria Imegra-Ou.