Camden, NJ – Two Camden County police officers were ambushed on Tuesday night, when at least one gunman opened fire on their police vehicle during National Night Out.
The detectives were sitting at a red light in their unmarked car near Broadway and Mount Vernon at about 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 7 when they were attacked, according to WPVI.
“The information we have thus far is that they were essentially ambushed,” Camden County Police Chief J. Scott Thomson said during a press conference late on Tuesday evening.
“A male walked up and began opening fire. We have anywhere between 10 and 25 rounds that were fired at the officers,” Chief Thomson said.
One of the detectives was able to return fire, but it was not known whether the suspect was hit. Investigators were checking with hospitals in the region in the hope of locating a wounded suspect, WPVI reported.
A male detective was shot twice in the arm, and a female detective was hit once in the hand, according to WPVI. The injuries were not believed to be life threatening.
Both detectives were transported to Cooper University Hospital for treatment. The names of the wounded officers have not been released.
At the press conference, Chief Thomson said they were lucky the officers weren’t hurt worse considering the nature of the assault. No motive for the attack was known.
“Our officers have non-life-threatening injuries but not for the grace of God, quite frankly,” the chief said. “The amount of rounds that were fired at close range and particularly through the windshield.”
He said the attack was totally “unprovoked” and said investigators were trying to figure out whether the detectives were ambushed because they were members of law enforcement.
"Maybe they did know they were police officers, and that's the reason they did it. Maybe they thought they were somebody else, we'll find out as the investigation unfolds," Chief Thomson said.
National Night Out is an event that was created to bring local police departments together with citizens of the communities that they serve, according to WPVI. Numerous officers participated in the community event that was still underway when the detectives were ambushed.
A manhunt was launched to find the shooter right after the incident and continued through the night. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were assisting in the investigation, WPVI reported.
Initially, police were looking for at least two black males in a white van with Pennsylvania license plates. The van may have bullet holes on the driver’s side, according to reports over the Philadelphia police radio.
The license plate on the suspect van reportedly traced back to a Hatboro, Pennsylvania address.
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