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GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, N.J.—A shootout broke out in a suburban New Jersey police station on Friday when a 39-year-old man who had been taken into custody attacked a police officer, stealing her gun and shooting her and two other officers before he was killed.
One of the officers, Sgt. James Garber, underwent surgery for a gunshot wound to his stomach and was in stable condition, while the other two, Officer Ruth Burns and Sgt. Kevin Thyne, were treated at Cooper University Hospital and released, police said.
“He then suddenly attacked the officer, tackling her to the ground, striking her on the head, and removing her department issued firearm from her holster,” Earle said at a news conference. “Two officers immediately proceeded to her aid. Mr. Jones opened fire on the two officers.”
Hours after the shootout, sections of the Gloucester Township municipal complex, which houses the police department, remained cordoned off by yellow police tape. Residents described it as a quiet community.
Her husband Don Kavanaugh, 49, said he arrived home from his overnight work shift about 5 a.m. “About 6 o’clock I saw a bunch of flashing lights. I didn’t think nothing of it, I see flashing lights in and out of there all the time,” he said.
The incident follows several recent multiple shootings in the United States, and comes two weeks after a gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
One week ago in western Pennsylvania, a man with a pistol fatally shot three people and then opened fire on police. Three officers were injured in that incident, one in a collision from a car chase with the gunman, another from bullet fragments to the face and a third who was struck with gunfire to the chest but survived because he was wearing a bulletproof vest.