Prosecutors say an off-duty Essex County corrections officer was exiting his car at Pomona Avenue and Bergen Street at about 3 a.m. when he was approached by three gunmen.
According to investigators, there were shots fired by the suspects and the officer returned fire, shooting two of them.
The two are in critical condition at University Hospital, but the third suspect fled the scene and remains at large.
The corrections officer was taken to an area hospital and treated for a stress-related medical condition.
Authorities say the motive appears to be robbery.