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Police-Involved Shooting in New Jersey Leaves Man Dead

Cars were left riddled with bullet holes after the violent confrontation

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What to Know

  • A police-involved shooting left a man dead following a car chase in a residential New Jersey neighborhood Thursday morning -- with neighbors in the community shaken
  • The incident took place around 10 a.m. in Bloomingdale
  • The state's Attorney General's Office took over the investigation since it was a police-involved shooting resulting in a fatality

A police-involved shooting left a man dead following a high-speed car chase in a residential New Jersey neighborhood Thursday morning — with neighbors in the community shaken.

The incident took place around 10 a.m. in Bloomingdale, stemming from a shoplifting incident at a Home Depot in Riverdale, sources tell NBC New York. The pursuit took over the streets of quiet Passaic County neighborhood, as police scanner audio suggested the speed was about 80 mph at least at one point.

The alleged suspect, who was driving an Acura SUV, then drove into a dead end on Matthews Drive where gunfire erupted. The suspect, later identified as 32-year-old Michael Rivera, turned his vehicle around and encountered pursuing officers. An officer tried getting out of his car when Rivera rammed into the vehicle, pinning the officer's leg.

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Gunfire broke out immediately after, with the officer firing multiple rounds. The man's SUV — with its windows blown out — showed the aftermath of the shooting, as did a patrol car that was also riddled with bullet holes visible on the driver's side of the vehicle.

Rivera, who lived in Newark, was killed. The incident also left the police officer with injuries to his foot.

"I just heard a lot of activity, a lot of sirens going off," witness Valerie Vermaylan said. "This is a very quiet neighborhood. This is not the type of action that we expect to see, it’s really disturbing."

Resident Peggy Wenklein said the incident scared her and she promptly called her daughter to make sure she was OK.

The gunfire battle also prompted Samuel R. Donald School, located just a few blocks from the scene, to be placed on lockdown. Parents were thankful for the quick response from law enforcement.

"Your kids get scared and they don’t know what’s going on. They don’t know why they are on lockdown," said Vermaylan. "Scary thing to have to go through."

The state's Attorney General's Office has confirmed that they have taken over the investigation since it was a police-involved shooting resulting in a fatality.

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