Saturday, December 20, 2014

Cops: Shootings part of job's danger

JERSEY CITY, N.J. - Authorities in Jersey City, already on edge following the ambush-killing of a rookie police officer over the weekend, said an officer shot a man yesterday morning who authorities say had attacked him and his partner with a sharpened fence post.

The man, whose name was not released, was taken to a hospital and was expected to undergo surgery for non-life-threatening injuries, the Prosecutor's Office said. The police officers were also being treated.

Meanwhile, officers from Jersey City and surrounding towns showed up yesterday afternoon to relocate memorial items from the site where Officer Melvin Santiago was fatally shot to the nearby West District precinct, where he had been assigned.

Officers, including some who had canceled vacations or come in on days off in a show of support, paid their respects in front of the memorial, set up on a table with a placard that read "End of Watch 7-13-14" under Santiago's name.

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West District Commander Capt. Michael J. Kelly said yesterday's shooting was not related to officers being in a heightened state of alert in the wake of Santiago's killing.

"Our officers are always in a high-alert state. That's part of our profession. It's a dangerous profession," he said.

Kelly said condolences have been pouring in from departments across the region. He described Santiago as a quiet, serious young man who had dreamed of being a police officer since childhood and who had just started to hit his stride after less than a year on the job.

Santiago was ambushed Sunday as he responded to an armed-robbery call at an all-night Walgreens, authorities said. Other officers returned fire, killing the gunman Lawrence Campbell.

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