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'Out Of The Old West': Gunman In High Speed North Jersey Chase Apparently Had 25 Heroin Decks

Shyiem Bennett
Shyiem Bennett Photo Credit: Essex County Jail

A gunman spotted shooting through the sunroof of his car at another vehicle was arrested after a high-speed pursuit near a North Jersey park Wednesday, authorities said.

Essex County Sheriff's officers were patrolling near the entrance of Irvington Park Tuesday night when they spotted a black Dodge Charger and silver Nissan Altima speed by, according to Sheriff Armando Fontoura.

Officers then saw shots being fired from the sunroof of the silver Altima, the sheriff said.

“In a scene that seemed directly out of the Old West, the Altima pulled up directly behind the Charger before they began to fire several shots from the top window of the vehicle," Fontoura said.

While officers lost the charger, they stayed on the Altima as it headed northbound on Grove Street in Irvington. The driver made a sharp turn onto Nye Avenue in an apparent attempt to lose the officers but instead, lost control of the car and crashed into an iron fence, Fontoura's office said.

The driver and passenger jumped off and tried running from the officers, but soon caught up with the passenger -- Shyiem Bennett, 26, of Newark -- on 21st Street, Fontoura said.

Bennett was found with 25 decks of heroin, and a search of the car found a Beretta Model “AXP” .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun, which was loaded with four hollow point bullets, authorities said. 

Bennett was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, illegal possession of a firearm, resisting arrest, conspiracy and drug offenses, Fontoura said.

The driver was still at large as of Thursday.

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