CITY, N.J. — A New Jersey police officer was killed in the line of duty early Sunday, shot by a man who told witnesses he was going to be famous, investigators say. Officers were called to a Jersey City Walgreens for a report of an armed robbery but instead found the suspect waiting for them outside and ready to fire, police say.
FOX’s Lisa Evers reports that the flag at city hall in Jersey City is at half-staff in honor of police Officer Melvin Santiago, a rookie cop who was still in his probationary first year when his life was taken by a bragging gunman. The 23-year-old officer never had a chance. He and his partner rushed to a 24-hour Walgreens to check out an armed robbery, but officials say it was just a trap by 27-year-old murder suspect Lawrence Campbell to shoot a police officer.
Lawrence Campbell shot Officer Melvin Santiago in the head shortly after he and his partner arrived at the 24-hour Walgreens at around 4 a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said. Other officers returned fire at Campbell, killing him.
Campbell had previously beat up an armed security guard inside the drugstore and took his gun, then went outside and waited for police.
“Surveillance cameras showed Campbell walk outside and speak to a witness, at which time he apologized for his conduct in Walgreens and subsequently told the witness to watch the news later today, he’s going to be famous,” Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said. The mayor says Campbell beat up an armed security guard inside the drugstore and took his gun, then went outside and waited for police.