UPDATE: A state Corrections Department employee overpowered a Gloucester Township police officer who was processing him at headquarters on a domestic violence complaint, grabbed her gun and was shot and killed after wounding three officers early this morning.
Police said the officers’ injuries didn’t appear life-threatening following the incident, which occurred around 5:45 a.m. Two already had been released from the hospital.
The third, a sergeant, required surgery at Cooper Hospital in Camden after being struck just below his vest. He was in stable condition, according to Gloucester Township Police Chief W. Harry Earle.
“Their actions of protecting the community quickly escalated from responding to call for service to performances of heroic actions by members of this police department,” Earle said at a televised news conference this afternoon.
Gloucester police had arrested Eddie Jones II, 39, of Willingboro, on suspicion of stalking his ex-girlfriend and other offenses after receiving a domestic violence call just after 1 a.m., the chief said.
Jones identified himself as a state Corrections Department employee but not an officer, Earle said.
Rookie Officer Ruth Burns was processing an uncuffed Jones several hours later when he knocked her down, whacked her in the head and pulled her service weapon from its holster, the chief said.
Sergeants James Garber and James Kevin Thyne were working just feet away and rushed to their fellow officer’s aid, he said.
“Eddie Jones continued rapid fire at the officers while Sgt. Garber and Sgt. Thyne returned fire,” Earle told reporters.
A bullet clipped Burns’s foot, while another hit Thyne’s duty belt, cutting his stomach. Another bullet grazed his chin, the chief said.
Garber took shots to the abdomen and in his bulletproof vest, and also had a bullet graze his head, Earle said.
Brown was shot dead in the exchange, he said.
According to DOC records, Brown began working with the department in 1997 and most recently was a communications officer at the Garden State Youth Correctional Facility in Burlington County.
“I’m so proud of the actions these officers because they placed themselves in harm’s way to save the lives of their fellow officers, police dispatchers and the general public during this escape attempt,” Earle said.
( PHOTO: NBC10 Philadelphia )
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