PATERSON, NJ - Wounded in the chest and fearing for his life, a 43-year-old Paterson man managed to fight off a gunman Sunday night during an attempted robbery in the 5th Ward, police said. The victim ended up knocking his attacker out during a violent struggle and was able to escape in his car, police said.
At first, authorities responding to the scene thought the alleged gunman, 43-year-old Jose Colon of Marion Street, was the victim of an assault when Police Officer Terry Duffy found him unconscious on the street near the corner of 15th Avenue and 22nd Street at about 7 pm , police said.
But shortly after an ambulance took Colon to St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, the shooting victim also arrived at the emergency room in a private car, police said.
Detectives eventually determined that Colon was the shooter in the confrontation between the two men, said Sgt. Patick Murray, head of the Paterson Police Department's Cease-Fire unit.
The two men apparently had a pre-arranged meeting on Sunday evening, according to police. Murray said detectives are still investigating the reason for the meeting. But the situation quickly grew violent when Colon pulled a handgun, demanded the victim's possessions, and fired a shot that wounded the man in the chest, police said.
Both men are in stable condition at the hospital, police said. Colon has been charged with attempted murder, robbery and weapons offenses.
Detectives have recovered the handgun they believed was used in the incident, Murray said. The investigation is continuing at this time and authorities are asking that anyone with information contact Detectives Ador Flores or Rolondo Polio of the Cease-Fire Unit at 973-321-1342.