After car crashes, cops find driver shot


An apparent car chase that started in Newark ended in Belleville with a crash and a shooting early this past Thursday, authorities reported.

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and Belleville Police Chief Mark Minichini said last Thursday that both jurisdictions were investigating.

In a joint press release, Murray and Minichini said during the “pre-dawn hours” on Feb. 16, a single-car crash occurred at Franklin Ave. and Mill St. in Belleville.

They said the vehicle, a red Pontiac, was occupied by five males, one of whom – the 22-year-old male driver – “had a gunshot wound to the head” and, as of Saturday, that individual – who was not identified – had undergone surgery and was listed in critical condition.

Two others – a 27-year-old and a 19-year-old – neither identified – are also hospitalized, Murray and Minichini said, but the nature of the injuries was not explained. Two other passengers were treated and released, they said.

All of the car’s occupants are Newark residents, according to the joint statement.

Preliminary investigation disclosed that “the Pontiac was in Newark and followed into Belleville by another vehicle just prior to the crash and shooting.”

The investigation, they said, is “active and ongoing.”

No further details about the incident have been made available as of press time. 

– Ron Leir

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