Off-duty cop shoots and kills man outside bar

April 3, 2008 6:05:56 AM PDT
An off-duty Essex County Corrections Officer fatally shot an armed man during a dispute that started inside an Irvington go-go bar. Eyewitness News is told the gunfire erupted outside the Florian & Bob's Doll House, at the intersection of Lyons Avenue and Coit Street, just after 1:45 a.m.

Apparently, the off-duty corrections officer, who was inside the bar, heard a commotion and ran outside. He saw a group beating up a man -- and one of the members of the attacking group, who was armed with a gun, fired a shot.

Police say the officer identified himself as an corrections officer and told the man, identified as 35-year-old Clarence Harris of Newark, to drop his weapon. Instead, Harris pointed his gun at the off-duty officer. The off-duty officer opened fire, fatally shooting Harris.

The off-duty officer was not injured. Harris' weapon was recovered at the scene.

Relatives of Harris rushed to the scene, and one woman was crying.

Irvington police closed the street for the ensuing investigation. Although the shooting initially appeared justified, it will be reviewed by the Essex County Prosecutor's Office, Irvington Police Chief Michael Chase said.