An innocent bystander was killed and a police officer was shot and wounded when gunfire broke out during an undercover narcotics stop, and an innocent bystander killed when the fleeing suspects crashed their car into a truck in New Jersey late Monday.
Authorities are still trying to untangle the chaos, which began when officer Barulio Barbosa and his partner, who had been conducting undercover drug surveillance last night, stopped a Mercedes they were watching in Passaic, police say.
A shootout ensued and Barbosa was shot in the leg; he was taken to St Joseph's Hospital, where he was treated and released. Police are reportedly looking into whether he was hit by friendly fire, but the circumstances aren't clear.
After that first confrontation, the suspects took off, sped down Sheridan Avenue, and then turned onto 2nd Street in neighboring town Clifton, where their car slammed into a red pickup truck before crashing into a building.
The passenger in the truck, 33-year-old Nathan Ferrer, was killed and the driver was seriously hurt, police say. Ferrer was the father of two children and lived in Clifton with them and his wife. He was returning home frim a soccer game
Prosecutors said there was "no indication" there was a police chase in this drug deal gone bad, but sources said friendly fire may have brought down the officer who was struck.
Cops arrested three individuals -- Calvin Raines, 39, of Va., Marquel Brown, 34, of Va., and Raul Ramirez, 30, of Passaic, in connection with the incident. Investigators say Raines and Brown had six kilos of cocaine according to police. Ramirez had $150 thousand in cash. In addition, a gun was found in Raines' car.
All three men were charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute and distribution of a controlled dangerous substance within 1,000 feet of a school zone. In addition, Raines was charged with being a fugitive from justice.
The investigation is ongoing.