Officials: Police officer kills man who attempted to run him down with car after chase
The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General says that a New Jersey police officer shot and killed a man who attempted to run him over with his vehicle following a police chase.
Authorities say that the shooting occurred on Monday around 10:15 a.m. on Mathews Drive in Bloomingdale. Police were initially investigating what is believed to have been a shoplifting incident in nearby Riverdale.
Police identified that suspect as 32-year-old Newark resident Michael Rivera. Authorities say that officers from Riverdale and Bloomingdale began to chase Rivera, who ultimately turned on to Mathews Drive – a dead-end road.
Officials say that Rivera turned his car around and encountered the pursuing officers. One of the officers stopped his car and was trying to get out when Rivera allegedly rammed the police cruiser, pinning the officer’s leg. Authorities say that this officer fired several shots into Rivera’s car, striking him.
“I heard a commotion. It sounded like a lawnmower but it was helicopters hovering above,” says neighbor Billy Courtman.
Authorities say that that officer provided Rivera with first aid and took him to Chilton Medical Center, but that he was pronounced dead at the hospital.
People who live in the Bloomingdale neighborhood near Pleasant View Avenue and Matthews Drive say that incidents like this do not happen often.
“This is the best town. The best bunch of men and women. It’s amazing anyone would want to cause harm to any officer, but Bloomingdale? It’s a delightful town,” says resident Nancy Lovendusky.
The officer whose leg was hurt is expected to be OK.
The attorney general’s office will investigate the shooting, which is state law whenever a suspect is killed during a police investigation.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.