Woman killed, Jersey City officers injured

July 22, 2009 7:30:19 AM PDT
For the third time in less than a week, Jersey City police have been injured during a confrontation with a suspect. The incidents include the death of a police officer following a gun battle, a police chase and shootout and the deadly shooting of a woman after two officers were slashed.

It's been a difficult 24 hours for the Jersey City police department.

A woman armed with a knife slashed two officers reponding to a domestic dispute, police said. One of the officers then shot and killed the woman.

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The incident happened at 87 Van Wagenen Avenue around 9:30 on Tuesday night.

According to Mayor Jeremiah Jerramiah Healy, the woman's husband called police. His wife has psychiatric issues and was not taking her medication. The wife threatened the husband with a knife before locking herself in the apartment, Healy said.

When the officers eventually got into the apartment, they tried to persuade her to drop the knife, officials said. At that point, she attacked the officers and one of them fired his weapon in response.

One officer was slashed in the arm, and the other in the head. Both were taken to Jersey City Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

The woman's name was not released pending family notification.

The incident came hours after a city police officer who was critically wounded in a shootout with two armed robbery suspects last week died.

Detective Marc DiNardo, a 10-year veteran who had been on life support, was pronounced dead around 9:35 a.m. after doctors harvested his organs for transplant. He would have turned 38 on Wednesday.

The 37-year-old was hit by a shotgun blast to the face July 16 as his SWAT team stormed the apartment where the suspects had taken cover. DiNardo had no signs of life when he arrived at Jersey City Medical Center that day and had to be revived several times before being stabilized in critical condition.

Four other officers were shot in the encounter and three more suffered minor injuries. The suspects were killed.

Hours before he died on Tuesday, a car chase roared through the street outside the hospital. The 3 a.m. chase and gun battle ended one block from a precinct decorated with purple and black bunting for DiNardo.

Authorities said a trio of teenage gunmen rammed four police cruisers and opened fire on officers twice Tuesday morning during a chase that began after the teens allegedly robbed a pedestrian at gunpoint. No one was hit, but seven officers suffered minor injuries, boosting the toll the past week to 15 injured and one dead, according to Deputy Police Chief Peter Nalbach.

The three teens were arrested and charged.

Nalbach, a 33-year police veteran, said he can't remember a week when so many Jersey City officers have been hurt in the line of duty.

"I hope this is just an anomaly and it passes quickly," Nalbach said of the spate of injuries.

One or two injuries a week is about normal for the Jersey City force, whose 893 officers safeguard a city of 242,000 across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan.