Investigators searched the Newark apartment building where they thought the suspect in the shooting of two Newark police officers was hiding, only to find the man was nowhere to be found.
Police identified the wanted man as 30-year-old Kendall Howard of East Orange.
Police say he opened fire on the officers at about 2 pm in Newark at Van Velsor Place and Chancellor Avenue. They were trying to arrest the suspect for another shooting, CBS2’s Kevin Rincon reported.
The injured officers are recovering at University Hospital.
Police were called to an apartment building after a resident recognized a man involved in a shooting from last week. Officers searched through the building, did not find the 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 terrible. At first, I thought it was firecrackers, but then, because it was so much, then I realized what it was,” said the witness Rosalind Reeves.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said a resident called police after identifying a shooting suspect seen on a wanted sheet. Moments later, officers were combing through the apartment building. As they were leaving, that’s when they found the suspect in the parking lot.
“The gentleman pulled out a gun, shot two police officers at close range. A gun shot was returned, fire was returned. The gentleman retreated back into the building,” Baraka said.
That’s what prompted the overwhelming response. Officers on the ground, even on the rooftops, kept their eyes peeled for the gunman.
The officers were rushed to the hospital.
“One person was shot through the face into the shoulder. He was in hospital, he had surgery. He’s in stable condition. They’re keeping him overnight. The other officer was shot in the leg. He’s also in hospital in stable condition ,” said Newark Public Safety Director Fritz Fragé.
The suspect then ran back, but after nearly eight hours of searching, police came up empty.
“The person who committed the offense is not in the building. There is now an active warrant for the person who is outside at the moment,” said Fragé.
“This is still an active investigation. We are asking for the cooperation and participation of the public to help identify and locate Mr. Howard. But thanks to our federal partners and our state, county and local partnerships, I am confident that the necessary resources are available all there. being deployed,” said State’s Attorney Matthew Platkin.
Meanwhile, many people who watched their neighborhood become a crime scene are upset.
“How do they expect people and their kids to be safe here after that? And he’s still on the loose?” asked one man. “If all of them couldn’t do it, maybe someone else would.”
“I’ve been standing here since 3:15 pm I’m angry and it’s sad that things like this are happening in this neighborhood,” said building resident Victoria Emeghara-Owoo.