August 16, 2013 – Trenton New Jersey (CBS) – wo police detectives are hospitalized, one in critical condition, after being shot while responding to a domestic violence call in Trenton, New Jersey Thursday.
Police say 24-year-old Eric McNeil, who was shot and killed by police during the incident, is allegedly responsible for the shooting, which happened at about 8:30 a.m. on Hobart Avenue.
According to investigators, two Trenton Police Department detectives were shot; one in the back and one in the shoulder. The detectives have been identified as Detective Jim Letts and Detective Edgar Rios.
Both were taken to Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton. Det. Letts, a 15-year veteran, underwent surgery, but was out of surgery at about 10:30 a.m. and is expected to fully recover and be released from the hospital in the next few days.
Detective Rios, a 30-year veteran, suffered more serious injuries after being shot in the torso. One of the bullets penetrated several of his organs and he suffered internal bleeding. Sources tell Eyewitness News Det. Rios remains in critical condition in a medically induced coma.
Authorities say McNeil was shot and killed during the incident. Mercer County Prosecutor Joseph L. Bocchini Jr. said a gun was recovered at the scene.
According to Bocchini, the original domestic violence phone call was placed at about 2:30 a.m. Authorities say the suspect punched and kicked his ex-girlfriend and in addition, he fatally stabbed the victim’s dog.
Officers with the Trenton Police Department responded to the scene and escorted the female victim to the police station to file a report and obtain information.
At about 8:30 a.m., officers returned back to the home with the victim. Bocchini said as the officers pulled up to the home and exited the vehicle, the suspect was walking out of the home. Bocchini said the suspect then pulled out a weapon and opened fire on the officers.
The officers returned fire on the suspect, fatally striking him. During the exchange of the gunfire, the two detectives were struck.
Trenton has had 29 murders this year and budget cuts have left the police understaffed. The mayor is now renewing calls on city council and the state for money to hire additional officers.
“Family members, I offered my support to them and told them whatever we can do in the city we’d be more than happy to do so,” said Mayor of Trenton Tony Mack.
The incident remains under police investigation, but police say McNeil had just been released from prison after serving time for robbery and weapons convictions.
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- Two Trenton police officers shot in gunfight are out of surgery, one remains in critical condition (nj.com)
- Two Trenton police officers injured in shooting, suspect dead (trentonian.com)