A New Jersey police officer was fatally shot in the parking lot of a Jersey City Walgreens after responding to a report of an armed robbery at the store.
According to the New York Post, 23-year-old Officer Melvin Santiago was exiting the passenger seat of the patrol car when 27-year-old fugitive and robbery suspect Lawrence Campbell fired twice from close range with his 9mm pistol. Campbell had reportedly stolen the weapon from a security guard at the Walgreens.
Although the officers had responded to reports of an armed robbery, Campbell did not attempt to steal any items from the store. He did, however, stab the security guard with a knife in order to steal his gun. According to a witness, Campbell then exited the store and waiting outside. He then “apologized for his conduct” to a bystander, according to a police report.
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop also claimed Campbell reportedly told the witness “Watch the TV news later — I’m going to be famous."
Fulop also issued a statement regarding Officer Santiago.
"It is a tragic situation when any officer is killed in the line of duty. Melvin was an officer who represented everything one would want to see in a police officer. I know the entire city's thoughts and prayers are with the Santiago family during this difficult time and we mourn together," said Fulop, according to the Huffington Post.
After the shooting, Santiago’s partner Ismael Martinez and the other responding law enforcement agents on the scene returned fire and killed Campbell.
Santiago was new to the force, having graduating from the academy in December.
(Bottom Left: Officer Melvin Santiago; Bottom Right: Lawrence Campbell. Top/Bottom: Officer Melvin Santiago's parents)