Manhunt continues for suspects in NJ cop shooting

Fairfield Police Officer Gerald Veneziano was shot 3 times and critically injured on January 30, 2010.

February 1, 2010 3:55:55 PM PST
Police in New Jersey continue to search for the gunmen who shot and critically injured a police officer. Gerald Veneziano, 26, is a 3-year veteran of the Fairfield Police Department. He was shot on his way to work Saturday evening. A blood drive has already taken place, and he remains in critical but stable condition.

Veneziano is in a medically-induced coma after he was gunned down while on his way to work just after 6 p.m. He had just contacted a fellow officer by cell phone, trying to arrange a traffic stop on a suspicious vehicle on Fairfield road.

"He wanted that on-duty police officer to conduct a license plate check, but the police officer was unable to do so because he was in the midst of an emergency call," acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert Laurino said.

Just five minutes later, a 911 caller reported gunfire.

"Everything is very sketchy, because there were not witnesses, other than the 911 called that found them after the fact," Chief of Investigators Anthony Ambrose said. "So once the officer is capable and able to speak to investigators, he can shed some light on the investigation."

Responding officers found Veneziano wounded, shot six times. His gun had been fired, but because he was on his way to work, he wasn't wearing a bullet-resistant vest.

Police say they are looking for several African-American men driving a black Dodge Magnum. The reward for information is up to $40,000.

Authorities say someone saw a vehicle fitting that description, which had a window shot out. Police cars and helicopters went out to look for it, but were unable to track it down.