The suspect accused of shooting two police officers in Newark, New Jersey, on Tuesday was still at large after an hours-long search of a building where he was last seen, officials said.
Prosecutors said an arrest warrant has been issued for Kendall Howard, 30, on two counts of attempted murder in connection with Tuesday’s shooting that wounded two officers. Essex County District Attorney Ted Stevens announced that Howard is also charged in the order with unauthorized possession of a weapon and possession of an unauthorized weapon for illegal purposes.
Earlier Tuesday, police and a special forces team were going from apartment to apartment looking for Howard, who they said withdrew into the building after opening fire, Newark Mayor Ras Barka said during a news conference. The mayor said most residents had been evacuated.
Howard was not present during the search and officials believe he left the building sometime after the shooting, Newark Public Safety Director Fritz J. Fragee said later Tuesday.
Faraji added that the building has many entry and exit points and investigators are reviewing surveillance footage in the hope of obtaining more information.
Baraka said Howard is also wanted in connection with the October 28 shooting in Newark. Officers first met him on Tuesday after someone recognized him from a flyer and called police around 1 p.m. to say he was in a nearby building.
Police responded 13 minutes later and did not find him in the building, but did meet him while leaving noon, near the parking lot, the mayor said.
“They gave him instructions, there was a short quarrel, the man pulled out a pistol, and shot two police officers at close range. Gunshots were returned, and the fire was returned. Baraka said.
Baraka said one officer was shot in the leg and had a small fracture. The other officer was hit in the shoulder and the bullet hit his neck. He said both are in stable condition.
Baraka thanked the community Tuesday night, saying they played a “tremendous role,” particularly the person who initially called authorities to inform him of the suspects’ whereabouts.
The Newark FBI confirmed it was assisting in the investigation into the shooting.
The shooting of the two officers comes amid an upsurge in violence against law enforcement authorities in the United States.
252 officers were shot, including 50 dead, from the beginning of this year through September 30, according to the Order of Fraternal Police, an organization that represents US law enforcement officers.
This represents a 5% increase over the same period in 2021 and a 6% increase compared to the same period in 2020, according to the organization’s data.