Police arrest man wanted after shootout with Tuckerton police

Posted: Updated:

Police have arrested a man that allegedly led police on an intense manhunt following a shootout with police.

The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office says that U.S. Marshals arrested 29-year-old Miguel Angel Villegas, of New Haven, Connecticut, at New York Penn Station just after 8 p.m. Thursday.

Authorities say that Villegas got into a shootout with a Tuckerton police officer around 10:20 a.m. after the vehicle he was a passenger in fled a traffic stop near Route 9 and North Green Street. The vehicle crashed into another car and Villegas allegedly started to shoot at police officers.

Tuckerton resident Nat Sooy says that the shootout happened in front of his home.

“I heard the officers yelling ‘Let me see your hands. Stop moving around,’ and as I turned over my shoulder he pulled out a gun and just started shooting at the police officer,” says Sooy. “We all hit the ground and they exchanged gunfire and then the guy took off running back behind my neighbor’s house and cut across into my yard and disappeared from there.”

Police departments from the surrounding area came to help in the search. Investigators were searching for the suspect by air and land. Schools in Tuckerton and Little Egg Harbor were placed on lockdown following the incident but later reopened.

Villegas faces several charges including attempted murder and kidnapping. Authorities say that he is also wanted on a warrant in Connecticut.

The prosecutor says that he will be seeking extradition to bring Villegas back to Ocean County from New York.

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