GARFIELD, N.J. A routine undercover drug buy ended in gunfire in a North Jersey shopping center parking lot Tuesday, leaving a police officer wounded and two suspects in custody, and a third hospitalized.
Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said the undercover officer was posing as a prospective drug customer and was in the driver's seat of a car, with a suspected drug dealer in the passenger seat. A second man approached the vehicle and demanded that the officer "give him everything," Molinelli said.
The man pointed a gun at the officer, became agitated, and shot him twice during a scuffle, Molinelli said. The officer was struck once in his left side and once in an ankle. He was in stable condition at Hackensack University Medical Center.
Narcotics task force members monitoring the staged transaction, for about $400 worth of marijuana, fired several times at the suspected shooter, who was hospitalized with injuries that police said were not considered life-threatening. He and the suspected dealer were arrested at the scene, Molinelli said.
A third man, who police said had driven the other two to the parking lot, drove away when the shooting began, Molinelli said. State police arrested him a short time later near the Essex toll plaza on the Garden State Parkway.