The injured officer is Gerald Veneziano, 26, of Belleville. His photo was released during a news conference Sunday.
A New Jersey police officer gunned down on his way to work was shot just minutes after he contacted a colleague about a suspicious vehicle.
Fairfield officer Gerald Veneziano remained hospitalized in a drug-induced coma Sunday as authorities continued a massive manhunt for his assailants.
They also were working to determine a motive for Saturday night's shooting, in which the 26-year-old Veneziano was shot three times in the abdomen.
Fairfield police say the shooting occurred about five minutes after Veneziano used his cell phone to call a colleague regarding a suspicious vehicle with tinted windows that was parked next to an industrial park. That officer, though, could not immediately respond to Veneziano's request to check the license plate number because he was involved in an emergency.
Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert Laurino said Veneziano, a three-year veteran of the force, returned fire, but would not say how many shots he fired. And it's still not known whether Veneziano hit anyone.
The incident occurred around 6:15 p.m. when Veneziano, traveling to work in his own car, pulled off the road.
Fellow officers then found him outside his vehicle after someone who heard the gunshots called 911. The semiconscious Veneziano was able to provide colleagues with a description of his assailants and their vehicle, a black Dodge Magnum station wagon.
Laurino would not say why Veneziano though the vehicle was suspicious or why the officer left his car and approached the vehicle on his own. Veneziano, who was not in uniform at the time of the shooting, did not have a police radio and was not wearing a bulletproof vest.
He was later airlifted by a state police helicopter to University Hospital in Newark, where he underwent several hours of emergency surgery.
Veneziano, a lifelong Belleville resident, was in critical but stable condition on Sunday afternoon, but further details were not disclosed. A $40,000 reward, including $10,000 provided by the New Jersey State Policeman's Benevolent Association, is being offered for information leading to an arrest.
The stretch of Fairfield Road where Veneziano was shot, an industrial and heavily traveled street near the county airport, remained closed for several hours Sunday as investigators continued to search for clues.
Meanwhile, law enforcement officials pressed their statewide manhunt for the assailants.
Officials believe this is the first time an officer has been shot in Fairfield, a relatively affluent community about 15 miles northwest of Newark.
"This is the first time in my 23 years in Fairfield that we've had an officer shot,'' Deputy Chief Steven Gutkin said. ``So it's hitting us all pretty hard. All of our officers are here. They all came in voluntarily."