Jersey City (N.J.) Officer Melvin Santiago, 23, was pronounced dead at the Jersey City Medical Center after being shot while responding to a report of an armed robbery at the Walgreens store at Communipaw Avenue and Kennedy Boulevard early Sunday morning, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop said in a press conference.
At 4:09 a.m. Santiago and another officer responded to the Walgreens from Bergen and Lexington avenues and were the first officers to arrive at the scene. The gunman, who has not yet been identified, opened fire on the marked police car. Santiago, who was still in the vehicle, was struck in the head, Fulop told NJ.com.
Santiago was rushed to the Medical Center where he was pronounced dead a short time later, Fulop said.
Police identified the alleged shooter as 27-year-old Jersey City resident, Lawrence Campbell. Witnesses say that Campbell ran toward the police car as it pulled into the parking lot and fired through the windshield, fatally wounding Officer Santiago.
Additional responding officers returned fire and the gunman was shot and pronounced dead at the scene. The armed security guard at the Walgreen's stated that the suspect struck him and took his weapon, which police believe was the weapon used in the shooting.