The intersection of Clifton Avenue and Second Street in Clifton was still an active spot Tuesday, marked with police tape and crawling with investigators more than 15 hours after the incident concluded.
Around 9 p.m. Monday, a drug sting went downhill when suspects in a black Mercedes exchanged gunfire with four Passaic officers. Then, they took off, speeding into Clifton. Minutes later, they crashed into a red pick-up at the intersection, killing the passenger inside. He was identified as 33-year-old Nathan Ferrer, of Clifton.
But it didn't end there, as police say more gunfire was exchanged. Passaic Officer Barulio Barbosa took a bullet to the leg and a suspect was hit in the shoulder. Bullet holes could be seen in homes nearby.
Prosecutor Camilia Valdes identified the suspects as 39-year-old Calvin Raines, 34-year-old Marquel Raines, both from Virginia, and Passaic resident Raul Ramirez.
Valdez says police found $290,000 in cash and six kilos of cocaine in the car.
The prosecutor's office is also looking into whether Officer Barbosa was shot by a suspect or if he was hit by another officer's bullet. He was treated and released from St Joseph's Hospital.
Ferrer and the driver were reportedly headed home from a soccer game when they were hit by the Mercedes.
"Sirens were coming from everywhere," eyewitness Patti Thompson said. "There were so many police cars coming, and you just heard something that sounded like fire crackers. The cops were yelling at everybody to get back in their houses."