AP NEWS

Police chase ends with gunfire, shoplifting suspect killed

January 24, 2020 GMT

BLOOMINGDALE, N.J. (AP) — A shoplifting suspect was shot and killed Thursday after he nearly ran over a police officer during a chase that ended on a one-way street in a residential area in New Jersey.

The incident began around 9:30 a.m. in Riverdale, when an officer stopped the SUV in connection with a shoplifting case that had been reported a few minutes earlier. The SUV sped off but was soon spotted in neighboring Bloomingdale, where authorities said it was being driven erratically and at high speeds.

The driver, 32-year-old Michael Rivera of Newark, eventually turned into a residential neighborhood and ended up at a dead end, authorities said. According to a preliminary investigation, a police vehicle entered the street and stopped in front of Rivera’s car. As the officer began to exit the vehicle, Rivera drove the car forward, ramming the police vehicle and pinning the officer’s leg.

During the subsequent exchange of gunfire, at least four shots were fired into the SUV’s windshield and at least nine shots were fired into the driver’s window of a Riverdale police cruiser, according to the state attorney general’s office. Rivera was struck by at least one shot and was taken to a hospital where he died a short time later.

The officer was taken to a hospital with a leg injury and later released.

An elementary school near the shooting scene was put on lockdown as a precaution, but that was lifted later in the morning.

The state attorney general’s office is investigating the matter, which is standard policy in any police-involved shooting.