NEWARK - Police say a Newark officer is recovering at home after he was shot in the leg trying to stop a robbery.

Lloyd Darby, who owns the 99 Cent Zone at Clinton Avenue and Stratford Place, is praising the officer for thwarting the robbery and protecting his employees.

Witnesses say the man entered the store at around 3 p.m Wednesday, pointed his gun and told workers to empty their pockets.

One of the workers was outside and flagged down a passing police officer. 

Mayor Ras Baraka says the 19-year veteran of the force came upon a chaotic situation. "There was a struggle that ensued in and around the establishment with the civilians," he says. 

Shots were fired, and Lloyd says the employees eventually converged on the suspect, bringing him to the floor. 

The suspect was shot in the torso and was treated. He has since been released and is now in police custody.

Residents say the officer put his life on the line so others could get away. "I truly believe he saved some lives today. The officer. No question about it," says Darby.

The names of the suspect and the officer haven't been released.