U.S.

Jersey City Police Killing Was Trap Planned By Gunman

A Jersey City police officer was fatally shot in the head Sunday morning while responding to a call about an armed man at a Walgreens.

Jersey City Police Killing Was Trap Planned By Gunman
Michael Dempsey / The Jersey Journal
SMS

The fatal shooting of a New Jersey police officer in a Walgreen's parking lot took an even more disturbing turn Sunday, when investigators revealed the whole thing was a trap. 

Jersey City police officer Melvin Santiago was fatally shot in the head early Sunday morning before he even had a chance to get out of the passenger seat of his cruiser. Santiago and other officers were responding to a report of a robbery. (Via WABC)

Jersey City's mayor Steven Fulop gave a statement on the slaying, calling it a horrible day for the city and saying that "Melvin was an officer who represented everything one would want to see in a police officer.‚Äč" (Via WCBS)

The suspect, who has been identified as Lawrence Campbell, reportedly stole his firearm from an armed security guard at the Walgreens and went outside to wait for police. 

According to USA Today, Campbell apologized to a customer for the violence while waiting outside. He told her to watch the news because soon, he was going to be famous.

News 12 New Jersey reports that he opened fire as soon as Santiago's cruiser arrived, fatally shooting him in the head. A second police car arrived and exchanged gunfire with Campbell, killing him. 

According to The Jersey Journal, Santiago studied criminal justice at a community college and had been with the Jersey City Police Department for almost a year. He had served only 6 months on active duty. 

The New York Daily News spoke with Santiago's aunt, who told them he'd been eager to join the force and that, "he was just an amazing person. He was our baby."

An investigation into Santiago's death is ongoing. Santiago is the first Jersey City police officer killed in the line of duty since 2009.