Investigators searched the Newark apartment complex where they thought the suspect in the shooting of two Newark police officers was hiding, only to find that the man was nowhere to be found.
Police identified the wanted man as 30-year-old Kendall Howard of East Orange.
Police say he shot officers at about 2 p.m. in Newark in the area of Van Velsor Place and Chancellor Avenue. They were trying to arrest a suspect for a separate shooting, CBS2’s Kevin Rincon reported.
The injured officers are recovering at the University Hospital.
Police were called to the apartment complex after a resident identified a man in connection with a shooting last week. The police searched the building, did not find a suspect, and began to leave. That’s when they found him in the parking lot, and got into a shootout.
For hours, police from far and wide, including the FBI and ATF, kept residents locked in their homes.
“It was a terrible thing. At first, I thought it was firecrackers, but then, because there were a lot of them, then I realized what it was,” said witness Rosalind Reeves .
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said a resident called police after identifying the shooting suspect seen in a wanted paper. Minutes later, officers were searching the apartment building. When they left, they found the suspect in the parking lot.
“The gentleman pulled out a gun, shot two policemen at close range. The gun was returned, and fire was returned. The gentleman went back into the building,” Baraka said.
That’s what caused the big reaction. Officers on the ground, even on the roof, kept an eye on the gunman.
The officers were rushed to the hospital.
“One was shot in the face in his shoulder. He was in the hospital, undergoing surgery. He’s in stable condition. They kept him overnight. Another officer was shot in the leg, also in the hospital in stable condition. It’s sustainable,” Newark Public Safety Director Fritz Fragé said.
The suspect went back inside, but after about eight hours of searching, police came up empty.
“The perpetrator is not in the building. There is a valid warrant now for the perpetrator who appears now,” Fragé said.
“This is still an active investigation. We are asking for the public’s cooperation and input to help identify and locate Mr. Howard. But thanks to our federal partners and our state, county, and local partnerships, I am confident that all the necessary resources are in place. It is being deployed,” said Attorney General Matthew Platkin.
Meanwhile, many who have seen their neighborhood turn into a crime scene are upset.
“How do they expect people and their children to be safe after that? And he’s still comfortable?” another man asked. “If all of them couldn’t do it, someone else could.”
“I have been standing here since 3:15 pm and I am angry and sad that things like this are happening in this area,” building resident Victoria Emeghara-Owoo said.