The first emergency call came Monday morning when a minivan crashed into an ambulance, setting off a chain reaction crash that ensnared a food truck and a metro bus, The (Newark, N.J.) Star Ledger reported. The incident claimed the life of Keith Chipepo, 30, of Montclair, N.J., an employee of the ambulance company. Three others suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
The driver of the minivan, James A. Sterling, 29, of Elizabeth, N.J., initially fled the scene and police were investigating the cause of the crash, the newspaper said. He was charged with eluding arrest, aggravated assault and driving with a suspended license and causing death and bodily injury. Sterling will face $300,000 bail when released from an area hospital.
About 30 minutes later, Newark police were called to the scene of a fatal shooting -- and to make matters worse, two police cruisers rushing to the scene collided, injuring three police officers, including the ranking captain in the city's west ward where all three incidents took place. All those officers were expected to recover.
Police said the shooting killed Joel Evans, 31. The incident was described as a "targeted shooting" though no motive was given and no arrests had been made, police said.
"Officers were out there doing what they're supposed to do, responding for calls for help from citizens," said James Stewart Jr., president of Newark's Fraternal Order of Police. "Unfortunately this is one of the dangers they face every day."