Newark, New Jersey
Originally posted in nj.com
Two Sheriff’s officers investigating possible drug activity shot and killed a suspected drug dealer after police claim the man approached them with a loaded weapon, Essex County Chief of Detectives, Anthony Ambrose, said today.
The two plain-clothes deputies were conducting a narcotics investigation and approached their target in a building on North 9th Street in Newark. Ambrose said the man came out of the building with a loaded weapon. The deputies fired one shot each, killing the man, whose name was not divulged, Ambrose said.
A group of residents, who had a different story about what happened during the confrontation, threw rocks and debris at the sheriff’s car breaking at least one window after the incident.
Several people at the scene told a reporter that the two deputies hit the man, whom they identified only as “Jose” (street name, “Menace”), with their vehicle and then shot the man on the ground. None of the neighbors interviewed wanted to give their names saying they feared retribution from police.
During brief remarks to reporters several people shouted over Ambrose and Sheriff Armando Fontoura, saying, “Why did you have to hit him with a car? Why’d you have to shoot him in the back?”
Jamar Smith, a friend of the deceased, said he was on his way to the victim’s home when he heard the sound of a car crash. The loud bang of two gunshots followed.
Smith and several others said one of the officers who opened fire is known in the neighborhood, and that they have had violent encounters with him.
Smith also said the victim had been in trouble with the law but recently moved out of the South Ward to get away from that area’s violence and drug activity. He was struggling to find work because of prior arrests.
Ambrose would not say where on the body the victim was shot, or address the neighbors allegations. He said investigators are trying to determine whether or not the victim was struck by a police vehicle.