Investigation underway for police shooting in Fort Lee

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Wednesday, January 11, 2023
Investigation underway for police shooting in New Jersey
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Officials in New Jersey are investigating a police shooting at Palisade Avenue and Whiteman Street in Fort Lee on Tuesday evening. Josh Einiger has the latest details.

FORT LEE, New Jersey (WABC) -- Officials in New Jersey are investigating a police shooting that appeared to stem from an ongoing drug investigation.

The shooting happened Tuesday afternoon near the intersection of Palisade Avenue and Whiteman Street around 1:30 p.m.

Bullet holes could be seen in a Toyota Camry with several through the front windshield in video from NewsCopter 7.

A dozen or so bullets could also be seen littering the street.

Stunned onlookers grabbed their cell phones and ducked for cover.

"It was a lot of yelling right before the shooting, and that's why it was scary, I was like what's happening," witness Ian Aragonez said.

Aragonez lives right across the street and tried to make sense of it all, along with countless others in this busy Fort Lee shopping district neighborhood.

It appeared the incident involved some sort of undercover police operation involving the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The DEA later said the incident stemmed from an ongoing narcotics investigation that honed in on the Camry.

It isn't clear what happened next, but at least one agent wound up opening fire on the Camry, before it crashed into a pole.

The male driver was shot in the leg and taken to Hackensack University Medical Center. The DEA says the driver's injuries were non-life-threatening.

Two other suspects were immediately taken into custody.

The two agents were not injured.

People in the community said they heard the shots and ducked for cover.

"I heard a couple shots fired, did a little quick duck and saw the police had it under control," said store owner Tom Ko. "I have a firearm for my store too, so the first instinct was to go grab that and see what the situation was, but everything from what I was notified of is OK."

The area was deemed safe by police and at no time was there a threat to any schools.

No civilians were injured, but still, the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office is now investigating the use of force.

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