2 officers hurt in N.J. police station shooting out of hospital
Yellow tape ropes off an area of a parking lot where authorities continue their investigation where three officers were injured in a shooting at the Gloucester Township police station in Gloucester Township, N.J.,Friday, Dec. 28, 2012. (AP / South Jersey Times, Lori M. Nichols)
Published Saturday, December 29, 2012 6:57PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, December 29, 2012 8:58PM EST
GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, N.J. -- Two of three police officers shot and wounded by an arrested man inside a police station have been released from a hospital.
The third officer, Sgt. James Garber, who underwent surgery for a gunshot wound to his abdomen, remained hospitalized in stable condition Saturday. Officials said Garber might be released as early as Sunday but no timetable had been set.
The shooting occurred early Friday inside a station in Gloucester Township, a Philadelphia suburb.
Authorities said the arrested man, Eddie Jones III, overpowered and disarmed Officer Ruth Burns after his handcuffs were removed during processing. They said Jones then fired multiple times at Burns and two other officers, Garber and Sgt. Kevin Thine, who had been in a nearby room and went to help her.
Garber and Thine returned fire on Jones, a state Department of Corrections civilian employee who had been accused of stalking a former girlfriend, police said.
Jones, of Willingboro, had been taken back to police headquarters in handcuffs, and when the cuffs were removed for a brief period during processing, he lunged at Burns, knocking her down and taking her weapon, police Chief Harry Earle said. He "unleashed a barrage of gunfire" at the officers, Earle said.
Jones, 39, was struck multiple times by return fire and was pronounced dead at the scene, the chief said.
Garber also was shot multiple times; his life was saved by a bulletproof vest. He also suffered a graze wound to his head.
Thine suffered a cut to his abdomen and a graze wound to his chin, while Burns was shot in one of her feet. Both were taken to a hospital for treatment and were released later Friday.
The shooting will be reviewed by the state attorney general, as is customary with all shootings involving police officers. But Camden County prosecutor Warren Faulk said initial evidence shows that the officers responded to gunfire that was initiated by Jones and returned fire to save their lives and those of other officers in the building.