PATERSON, NJ - An off-duty city police officer intervened when he spotted a man with a handgun near Market Street Wednesday afternoon and ended up shooting the man when he allegedly pulled the weapon from his pants, authorities said.
The officer, who authorities have not named, was getting a haircut when he saw Jermaine Eason, 21, of Paterson, talking with a man on the street, according to a story on northjersey.com. The officer noticed Eason had a gun on him, the story said.
The officer left the barbershop, spoke with the man Eason had been speaking with, and then got into his car to head after Eason, the story said.
At Summer Street and Park Avenue, the officer displayed his badge and identified himself as an officer,prompting Eason to remove the handgun from his pants, according to the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office. The officer then fired four shots, hitting Eason twice, the story said.
Eason, who faces weapons charges, was hit in the left shoulder and in the left bicep, the story said. He was being treated at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, with injuries that do not appear life-threatening.
The officer has been on the Paterson police force less than two years and is one of the 125 city cops facing a layoff on April 18, authorities said.
"Here's a guy who's getting laid off and he's still doing his job and protecting the public,'' said Steve Olimpio, president of the Paterson Policement's Benevolent Association. "It makes me proud to be a Patreson cop.''
A C02 pellet gun modeled after a Glock 9mm handgun was recovered at the scene, according to the story. Also recovered from Eason was a ski-type mask and latex gloves.